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Archive for the ‘Ponds and lakes’ Category

Today we were back at Chorlton Water Park to continue work on the new wildlife garden being created here in conjunction with the RSPB.  We planted a few wildlife-friendly trees and shrubs and finished building a flowerbed mound where our plantings included flowers such as cowslip and ox-eye daisy.  We then helped finish the bog garden around the new pond – and added wetland plants such as marsh marigold, water avens, ragged robin and flowering rush.

It was good to see the willow arch (which we constructed in December) looking healthy and sprouting well, fulfilling its function as the entrance to this developing wildlife area!

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A day at Chorlton Water Park on Sunday 13th December marked the end of SACV’s activities for 2015.  We worked on maintaining the willow groynes at the edge of the lake, which provide an important habitat for birdlife and spawning fish; using the cut willow, we then created a willow arch which will provide a living entrance to the new wildlife garden being created in conjunction with the RSPB.  Then, to finish the day, we had our annual Christmas get-together with plenty of mulled wine and seasonal delights – all of that, plus a 40th birthday to celebrate!

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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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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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Well done to those hardy volunteers who were out yesterday at Chorlton Water Park, to continue last month’s task of the maintenance of willow groynes at the edge of the lake!  These groynes are important in protecting the lake’s banks from erosion and providing a wildlife habitat.  Despite the day getting gradually colder and wetter, with sleet for some of the time, a fair length of groyne was worked on.  After a brief lunch break the weather had turned pretty atrocious so there was a sprint finish to tidy up, keep warm and complete the last section!  A good effort by all.

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It was our first task of 2015 yesterday and we were back at Chorlton Water Park for the winter activity of maintaining the willow groynes at the edge of the lake.  A grey and blustery day, but dry – apart from the dabbling in the shallows of the lake!  Moving on from sections which have been worked on by us and others recently, we were again cutting some of the growth of recent years and weaving it back to build up the groyne.

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So, we finished 2014 with an event at Chorlton Ees on 23rd November: working with the Friends of Chorlton Meadows, we removed trees and scrub to the south of one of the ponds to allow more light in. Then on 7th December we were at New Moss Wood, which is one of the Woodland Trust’s sites and a new one for us. We carried out some coppicing and thinning at this relatively young woodland. It was a day of mixed weather (mostly wintry brightness but lunch in hail!) so we were glad afterwards to get into the dry for our annual seasonal get-together with mulled wine, mince pies and the like!

Now we’re into 2015, and we’ll be swinging into action next Sunday (11th January) at Chorlton Water Park, when we’ll be helping with some management of the willow groynes around the lake, which are important in protecting
the lake banks from erosion and providing a valuable wildlife habitat. New volunteers are welcome to join us!

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