Witchford Village

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Open Spaces Group Update - July 2018

Posted on: Jul 14, 2018
Posted in: open-spaces-group news

Millennium Wood
June saw another successful annual meadow mow in the wood, arranged by the Woodland Group and undertaken by Scouting Witchford and the Open Spaces Group. In glorious summer weather a total of 28 volunteers turned out for the occasion, of whom 15 were Witchford Scouts, Cubs and Beavers with parents and supporters. The Scouts laid on welcome refreshments, including the now-traditional bacon baps. The event was a marvellous example of community involvement and co-operation.

Also in the Millennium Wood, Witchford Brownies, with the support of parents and members of the Open Spaces Group, completed stage 1 of their ‘mini-beast hotel’. This consists of stacked wooden pallets interspersed with layers of sticks, bricks, rubble, cardboard, hay, moss etc. to create a haven for a wide variety of invertebrates including bees, spiders, woodlice, beetles and snails, and small mammals such as mice and possibly hedgehogs. More on the mini-beast hotel on its completion next month.

The Old Rec and Community Orchard
In June volunteers carried out the summer pruning of the soft fruit trees: cherry, plums and gages. Pruning is carried out in summer when cuts seal very quickly, thus reducing entry of the spores of silverleaf, a debilitating disease for which there is no cure. The timing also provided the opportunity to assess what fruiting there has been. This year is undoubtedly the best so far. We have cherries for the first time, the Merchant variety providing a number of delicious fruits. The President plum is loaded with fruit as is the Red Victoria cooking apple, and Summer Buerre dessert pear has a good supply. The quince tree that was only planted this spring has also fruited. We hope that the fruit will remain to ripen later in the summer, when visitors to the orchard may sample any that’s available.

The Old Rec meadow was mown in June, producing a bumper crop of hay. The flowers and grasses (and there are still plenty left around the trees and on the field margins) have attracted many butterflies, in particular the meadow brown. Damselflies abound too, for example the azure damselfly, which usually emerges from mid-May to mid-June, spotted on a hedgerow.

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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