Witchford Village

Open Spaces Group Update - March 2015

Posted on: Mar 26, 2015
Posted in: open-spaces-group news

The Old Recreation Ground and Community Orchard
During February the Open Spaces Group held a conservation management session at the Old Recreation Ground. Volunteers trimmed the boundary hedge planted in 2008, weeded around the Community Orchard fruit trees and renewed carpet squares placed around the trees to suppress weeds. The carpet has helped field voles by providing cover for their tunnels, from where they have unfortunately chewed the bark on some of the trees. The voles however are an important food item for the barn owls that frequent the area around the Old Rec. Following this maintenance work, an oak tree commemorating 25 years of the Open Spaces Group was planted alongside the permissive path in the adjacent Edna’s Wood, by kind permission of Dianne Field.

By early March the formative pruning of all 44 apple and pear trees, planted in February 2013, was completed. The technique used is intended to create in due course a ‘wine glass’ shape to encourage fruit production.

Sandpit Drove Meadow
During the early spring volunteers will be working on the wild flower meadow. At the end of March the strips of poorer-quality meadow sprayed off last year will be sown with new seed and seed collected from the meadow last season. On Sunday 26 April the early grass growth will be cut and the mowings raked off. This is intended to give the slower-growing later wild flowers an opportunity for growth while the grasses are short. Any assistance at this session will be most welcome.

Millennium Wood
Throughout February volunteers continued to lay 15 m of hedgerow on the Millennium Wood west boundary. Hazel stakes and binders have been purchased by the parish council for anchoring and holding the cut stems. The task will be completed during March.

Volunteers are very welcome at all Open Spaces Group and Woodland Group events. For more information about the Open Spaces Group contact Richard Braund on 665222 (e-mail richardbraund50@hotmail.com)

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