The last Sunday of February saw our first hedgelaying of 2018 (after our abandoned plan for hedgelaying at Spud Wood earlier in the month).  We had a very cold but bright day on the Middlewood Way and worked on a good section of hedge with Ed from the Cheshire East Rangers.

We’re back at Spud Wood on Sunday 18th March so might yet get some more hedgelaying this season!


Return to Spud Wood

Today we were back at the Woodland Trust’s Spud Wood.  The weather wasn’t as kind as during our visit in January, shifting from hail to bright sunshine and back again, but nonetheless we made some good progress with the coppicing of hazel and some other woodland thinning.  We put the possible hedgelaying on hold for today, although we might yet make a start on it when back on 18th March.  Thanks again to the Friends of Spud Wood for the welcome and for fortifying us with home-made cake!

Elusive snow in the Peaks

This past weekend was our first residential weekend of the year.  We were working as usual with the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers, but the weekend was a little disrupted – not so much by snow as by the constant forecast of possible heavy snow!

Plans for our activities therefore had to be altered but nonetheless we were able to work on Saturday on the removal of a fence which had previously been part of a project to protect an important habitat for water shrews.  The land is no longer grazed by livestock so the need for the fence has gone and access to the brook’s bank has been restored.

By Sunday morning the snow was starting to fall so, with our other activities having been cancelled, we had the chance of a walk to enjoy it!

Thanks to all who came out today to help with coppicing work at Spud Wood, a Woodland Trust site.  A great start to 2018 – a good turn-out from SACV, a warm welcome from Friends of Spud Wood, lovely sunshine, an excellent site – and homemade cake!  Here’s to more days like this for the rest of the year.

Hedgelaying in the snow

An appropriately wintry day for our last activity of 2017 today: hedgelaying with the National Trust at Alderley Edge.  Under the leaden skies and the light snowfall, the curious robins kept us company – and we kept warm with the thought of our annual seasonal get-together to follow.  So, plenty of mince pies, jacket potatoes, mulled wine and the rest – thanks to Elaine for the excellent catering and hospitality!

Here’s to 2018!

SACV hedgelaying at Alderley Edge

SACV hedgelaying at Alderley Edge

Longford Park wildlife garden

There weren’t many of us, or of the Friends of Longford Park, out today – a day of occasional heavy rain but also good spells of winter brightness.  However, we made good progress with various jobs in the park’s wildlife garden: some thinning in the wooded area to allow more light to penetrate, some creation of habitat piles along the fence lines, and some planting of hazel, dogwood, crab-apple etc. at various points in the garden.

A pond at Chorlton Meadows

As in previous years we today worked with the Friends of Chorlton Meadows to maintain an area of open water in the reed bed here.  The reed bed and surrounding area continue to be one of the most diverse parts of the meadows: kingfisher, reed warbler, sedge warbler, water rail and the fastest declining British native species, willow tit, frequent the area. Throughout the summer large numbers of damselfly and dragonfly were hawking over the adjacent meadow.

Recently a local bird group ringed a sedge warbler. The same bird was caught again thirteen days later on the south coast having travelled over three hundred miles. Sedge warblers winter south of the Sahara desert.