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Archive for the ‘Invasive species’ Category

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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Today we were working at Priory Gardens on behalf of the Red Rose Forest, to remove a patch of invasive rhododendrons from an edge of the site near Dane Road.  On starting, it looked as though the area to clear might not be too great, but in fact the rhododendrons were pretty extensive and established, so by the end our piles of cut material were fairly high!  Doubtless we’ll have missed some of the invaders and some will re-sprout, but we’ll have opened up this part of the woodland for some time.

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The National Trust site of Hare Hill has an extensive Victorian culvert system which we have helped to maintain in the past.  The culvert system feeds into a cattle trough, and a couple of years ago we lent a hand with its restoration (it had previously lain forgotten for several decades).  It has silted up again since then, so today some of us joined forces with the Manchester National Trust Volunteers to clear out the mud and patch up some of the pond again.  There was a good crowd of volunteers out so, meanwhile, others worked on removing invasive rhododendron from a wooded embankment nearby.  A fine day in the spring sunshine!

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Himalayan balsam is a pernicious invasive species which can take over large areas of woodland and the banks of streams, shading out and eradicating many other species.  Today SACV were out in Black Moss Covert helping the Cheshire Wildlife Trust with attempts to get the Himalayan balsam under control at this site – fingers crossed that this will help in getting it eradicated here!

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