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Posts Tagged ‘Mersey Valley’

Only a hardy few volunteers made it out in today’s rather dreary grey weather.  We were working at Chorlton Water Park on willow groynes at the edge of the lake.  These groynes provide an important wildlife habitat and help to prevent lakeside erosion.

We harvested willow from an existing groyne on one part of the bank and used that to create a couple more small groynes at the far end of the lake.  We also had a chance to see how the groyne we worked on a couple of years ago is now looking very established! 

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The wildlife area at Chorlton Water Park has been developed in conjunction with the RSPB over the last few years, mainly for educational purposes.  Today we helped with some maintenance: planting, mulching, laying new woodchip on the paths, and clearing debris from the dipping pond.  And there was plenty of spring wildlife to be observed while we were about it!

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Our first activity of 2017: some work on the willow groynes at Chorlton Water Park!  These groynes are important in protecting the banks from erosion and providing a valuable wildlife habitat.  There was only a small band of volunteers out today but a pleasant misty winter’s day and some good work done!

Update, March 2019: While back at Chorlton Water Park we’ve been able to see that the willow groyne is now looking well established!

Established willow groyne

Established willow groyne

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Today SACV members were out with the Friends of Chorlton Meadows.  We haven’t worked on this pond for the past couple of years, but as in 2012 and 2013 our task was to clear some of the reeds and overhanging willow in order to maintain an area of open water.  Without this, the pond will continue to close in and silt up, and might gradually cease to be the important habitat it is, including for the variety of birds – such as reed warbler, reed bunting, water rail and willow tit – which can be sighted here.

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In what is becoming an annual activity, this past Sunday we were out in Chorlton Water Park helping with the maintenance of the woodland walk.  We got a good section of the path done, so thanks to those who turned out in what had  been looking to be a weekend of variable weather!

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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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Today SACV members teamed up with the Friends of Chorlton Meadows (FoCM) for some hedgelaying on the aptly named Hawthorn Lane.  The long stretches of hedge alongside the lane have been neglected for many years but FoCM and the wardens have started laying parts this autumn and winter.  Because of the age and thickness of the stems, this was a challenging hedge to work on (but it wasn’t all manual work – we did have a lot of assistance from a chainsaw!).  However, some good progress was made and there was even some root-laying done.  FoCM might manage more work on the hedge in the remainder of the winter and doubtless SACV will perhaps be back to work on it next year too!

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