After today's session the hedge is actually starting to look quite good!
Some skillful bashing of binders going on here.
At today's work party we finally made a start on the hedgelaying around the area known as "The Bermuda Triangle".
We managed to lay 4 or 5 metres and got some poles knocked in.
We still need to tidy it up a little and get the binders started.
But it's not looking too bad so far even if I say so myself!
Reporter Charlotte from That's TV Thames Valley called by during our midweek work party today to record a piece about our project entered in the Aviva Community Fund competition.
To celebrate Valerie's birthday (and the first work party of the 2017/18 season) Liz brought along some lovely cake.
The cake was presented and once Valerie had done the honours blowing out the candles we all tucked in. It was very well received by all present! (Who's birthday is next?)
Oh, and we also tidied up the area around the fallen oak and planted four new oak saplings.
A short video of a roe deer eating our newly planted hazel whips.
The midweek team had a productive session this morning installing a new double width Nature Watch sign in the main entrance to The Copse alongside Jubilee Avenue. The sign highlights the ecology of an oak woodland such as Holt Copse, and the multitude of invertebrate life to be found in a decaying log pile. Thanks go to Wokingham Town Council for funding the purchase of materials for the sign.
We took down the old wooden bat boxes that were in poor shape after being vandalised by squirrels and we installed three new boxes. These new boxes were a different design with two different sized chambers to accommodate different species of bat. Derek Harding kindly donated one of the boxes and we bought two more identical boxes from the RSPB. The boxes are installed as a group of three spaced equidistantly around the trunk of a large oak. This is to allow the bats to move around during the day to the box with the most suitable temperature. The design of these boxes means that we should be able to spot any inhabitants with a pair of binoculars without causing any disturbance.
The fresh green of the hazel catkins is one of the first signs that spring is on its way. But take a closer look and you will see the small red female hazel flowers waiting to be pollinated by the male catkins.
Here are a couple of views of the area in compartment one that we have been clearing, coppicing and planting this winter. We have removed a lot of holly, lightening up the area considerably. Come springtime this area should be looking fabulous with bluebells and all the new hazel we have planted.
Mike Saynor, Colin Melhuish - HCCV Joint Co-ordinators