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Posts Tagged ‘Cheshire Wildlife Trust’

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of John Agar on 17 April 2020.  John was a very committed and enthusiastic member of SACV and right up until recent weeks he was a stalwart of the group, for many years our most frequent volunteer.  John was out with us most recently at Chorlton Water Park on Sunday 1 March, where he busily got stuck in to the construction of a willow arch.

John had a passion for the natural world and conservation and he especially enjoyed having more time to indulge these interests in later life.  In former years, John was a fixture on our residential weekends in the Peaks, until he “retired” from weekends away in 2013.  On those weekends, John continued his working life’s habit of very early starts, so by the time the rest of us were up John would inevitably have been for a walk to listen to the local birdsong as well as got the breakfast porridge, tea and toast on the go!

John was a founder member of the Friends of Chorlton Meadows, a group we have worked with many times over the years.  Having lived in Chorlton all his life, John was a source of fascinating memories of the changing local environment.

Since the loss of John, tributes have come in from the volunteers who have worked with him over the years: it is clear he was held in huge affection and warm regard, a vocal advocate for the natural environment, infectiously enthusiastic and always willing to share his knowledge with others, warm and welcoming to volunteers of all ages, good-humoured and good company.  He will be greatly missed.

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We returned today to Cheshire Wildlife Trust‘s Compstall Nature Reserve (where we were a fortnight ago).  We were continuing with the work to prevent trees colonising an open wetland habitat, doing more of the clearing and with a warming bonfire to follow.

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Today was our first visit to Compstall Nature Reserve, which is managed by Cheshire Wildlife Trust and is in the heart of Etherow Country Park.  This is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and we were working on a stretch of it not accessible to the public.  Our task was to remove encroaching saplings, mainly willow and alder, from an area intended to be maintained as an open wetland.  Although the ground was wet and soggy from all the recent rain, we were delighted to have bright sunshine all day – which showed off this diverse and lovely site at its best. 

We managed to get a lot done although there only five of us.  We are back here in a fortnight and more volunteers would be welcome!

 

 

 

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It’s that time of year again: time for tackling invasive Himalayan balsam!  Yesterday we were out with Cheshire Wildlife Trust volunteers at the Sinderland Green site they manage (actually a National Trust site) to help with the continued battle against the invader.  Good progress has been made at this last site in recent years, so parts of the woodland are pleasingly free of balsam – all being well it can continue to be pushed back further each year.

 

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Our last two activities have been in Chorlton Meadows (Sunday 28th October) and Birch Moss Covert (Sunday 11th November). The first of these was to help the Friends of Chorlton Meadows with their work on the reed beds, maintaining an area of open water which is important for wildlife.

Next, at Birch Moss Covert, we worked with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust volunteers to prevent woodland encroaching on an important area of low heathland heather. 

For our next activity, we look forward to joining the Friends of Longford Park on Sunday 25th November!

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As in previous years, today we were once again out with Cheshire Wildlife Trust volunteers at Hogswood Covert and then Brookheys Covert (sites now managed by the National Trust), continuing the battle against the invasive Himalayan balsam in these woodlands. It was pleasing to see that there was less balsam to be found than in the past, so the battle against the invader is gradually gaining ground!

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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 SACV got to spend a lovely late summer day helping members of the Cheshire Wildlife Trust at Birch Moss Covert.  The task was to make a start on establishing new paths around the reserve; the previous paths were destroyed in recent work done on the site to convert it to wet mossland.  Since that work, the CWT have found good signs that water-voles are establishing themselves at the site, which is very good news indeed and increases the reserve’s wildlife importance.

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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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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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