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Archive for the ‘Invasive species’ Category

Yesterday we helped with the development of a brand-new 30-acre scout camp – Hollinwood Scout Camp – in Worsley.  A challenging yet exciting project, where glades are being created in a mixed woodland for scouts to camp and enjoy the outdoor life.  We balsam-bashed an area that will be a narrow access road through the site.  There are also fields which have recently been planted with 900 mixed deciduous saplings by the Woodland Trust; we mulched around the saplings to ensure they don’t get encroached by the surrounding tall grasses.
A very accommodating and friendly partner to work alongside, who provided us with copious amounts of tea and biscuits on our break, under the scout marquee!

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As in recent tasks, more Himalayan balsam to tackle yesterday, but this time with the Friends of the Bowdon Bollin!  (Our planned constructional work on a gate or two, which the original idea for yesterday, has had to be postponed to the autumn.) The Friends have had some good success clearing balsam from some of their sites, including the woodland we worked in during the afternoon, where the previous very dense balsam is now greatly reduced.  And it’s not often we conservation volunteers get to have lunch on a beach!

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Well it’s been a while since we put out an update, but that doesn’t mean SACV hasn’t been busy!  In the last month or two we have worked in the quarry area at Tegg’s Nose Country Park (Sunday 12th June), when a damp day didn’t stop us from getting lots of heathland management work done; done some path maintenance work at Sale Water Park (Sunday 26th June) for City of Trees, taking care not to destroy some of the banks of wildflowers; and worked with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust at Birch Farm Ponds (Sunday 10th July) tackling the invasive Himalayan balsam.  Here’s hoping the rest of the summer continues in the same productive vein!

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As with last year’s similar task, some of us were in action yesterday at Priory Gardens, on behalf of the Red Rose Forest, to help control the invasive rhododendrons here.  Hard work dealing with some of them, but a sunny spring day for it!  We’ll probably be back at this site over the summer for some other activities.

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This past weekend was our final residential weekend of 2015.  Working as usual with the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers, we helped to clear and burn invasive rhododendron on the banks of Tittesworth Reservoir.  The reservoir’s water level was looking lower than any of us could recall seeing it, but that gave us a good space on the shore for our bonfire of cut material.  The removal of the rhododendron will help to avert the monoculture which is otherwise developing along some of the bank, and encourage native species to flourish.  We were blessed with fine and warm autumn weather to enjoy the scenic location.  In the evenings and in the breaks from work, the weekend followed the usual sort of course: great meal in The Lazy Trout on Saturday night, good chats, crossword attempts, entertaining post-dinner tabletop games (Saboteur, Coup, Avalon, Werewolves!) and a home-made cake to celebrate a recent wedding!

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Another late-in-the-season bashing of Himalayan balsam was the order of the day today, this time in Priory Gardens (approximately SJ797926) on behalf of the Red Rose Forest.  Some of the balsam will already have flowered and set seed, but there was plenty to go at which hadn’t yet seeded.  Alongside this, we were also doing some woodland work, reducing some of the density of saplings, particularly sycamore, to open up the woods and allow more light to some parts of the woodland floor.  A fine and hot summer’s day but gradually building up to refreshing rain – although the clouds helpfully held back until our work was done!

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Invasive species were given a battering today when SACV volunteers were out with the Friends of the Bowdon Bollin.  Our main aim was to clear Himlayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) from a stretch of the Bollin near Ashley Mill Lane (approximately SJ761855), but there was also a chance to have a go at injecting herbicide into Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), which is another common alien invader along the banks of the river. Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) was not the main focus of today’s activities but we had to be aware of this harmful plant as it can also be found here, although the Friends have been doing a good job in recent years of treating it and reducing its presence.  A lovely sunny day to be on the banks of a river, and we hope to have done some good in the ongoing battle against these damaging species!

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