Witchford Village

Open Spaces Group Update - June 2018

Posted on: Jun 11, 2018
Posted in: open-spaces-group news

Fairchild Wood
In May volunteers carried out maintenance on the 70 m boundary hedgerow planted last year, weeding around the hedge plants, and trimming to encourage the hedge to thicken. The planting has been successful as very few of the hedge plants have died, and growth last and this season has been strong. Any gaps will be filled with replacement plants in the autumn.

Most of the 170 trees planted in the wood last winter are now in full leaf, despite the water-logging of much of the ground during a cold and wet start to 2018. The hornbeams are the exception, as many have failed to take for reasons so far unknown.

Kevin’s Place
Kevin’s Place continues to be a desirable location for reptiles to live. Slow worms have been sighted on numerous occasions this spring, and there are known to be at least three specimens present. Grass snake sightings have surpassed all expectations. Recently nine different snakes were seen, ranging from a very large adult to juveniles of 225 mm (9 inches). The biggest surprise was the sighting of a common lizard, the first for several years. Monitoring for reptiles will be continued throughout the summer and autumn, when the information gathered will be submitted to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Environmental Records Centre.

Sandpit Drove Conservation Area
Flowering on the wildflower meadow has been delayed because of the cool spring, and following the fading of cowslip blooms, in May mostly only cow parsley and red campion flowers were evident. Growth of flowering plants has been strong however, and more species will flower soon, including many yellow rattle, an annual that is semi-parasitic on grasses and helps to control them. Pervasive weeds such as dock, thistles and nettles continue to be a nuisance, and are being removed week by week by volunteers.

On the pond, the moorhens have kept a low profile, but adults and juveniles were present during May.

Witchford Open Spaces Group volunteers help to maintain and improve sites throughout Witchford to encourage wildlife and for the enjoyment of the local community. We welcome new volunteers, young to not-so-young, at any time. Why not come along?

For more information about the Open Spaces Group contact Richard Braund on 665222 (e-mail richardbraund50@hotmail.com).

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