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