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Archive for the ‘Invasive species’ Category

The weekend before last saw us among the atmospheric ruins of Errwood Hall.  We spent our final residential weekend of the year working with the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers to remove invasive rhododendron from the grounds around the remains of the Hall.  Originally part of the Hall’s landscaped Victorian estate, the rhododendron has spread out of control over the decades, to the detriment of the woodland and its habitats.

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Today we were once again out with Cheshire Wildlife Trust volunteers at Hogswood Covert, continuing the CWT’s battle against the invasive Himalayan balsam in this woodland.  This war is waged every summer and good progress is being made at eradicating the balsam.  No pictures this time, but then piles of bashed balsam look much the same as in similar previous visits!

 

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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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