|Basingstoke Conservation Volunteers|
|Hands-on help for local wildlife|
News - December 2006
Send any BCV news or task reports to
A report on the residential tasks at The Mens in West Sussex is now available. Click here to find out what happened.
After much discussion, we have decided to stop publishing the paper Newsletter.
It was felt that the effort involved in producing the letter was no longer
justified. We will now producing a slim-line version, containing only the task and
social programmes, on a four-monthly basis. For members without access to a computer,
we will continue to send this out in paper form - for all other members, the new
e-letter will be sent out by e-mail. The latter option will obviously reduce our
expenses, and we will therefore make membership free to those who receive their
letter in this manner.
For those of you who will mourn the loss of the newsletter articles, we will try to continue to produce these, but in future they will only be published here on the web-site.
Dave J has managed to break into the world of paid environmental employment, by winning an 11 month contract from the Hampshire Wildlife Trust to be the Assistant Warden of Pamber Forest. Congratulations to Dave!
The Autumn 2006 task programme is now ready - click here for all the details.
Read about Graham's trip to Costa Rica here
These now appear in reverse-chronological order - in other words, the most recent reports are just below while the older ones are at the bottom of the page.
|17 December 2006||Pamber Forest||Heathland Restoration / Maintenance|
This year's pre-Christmas bash was held on the heathland section of
the forest, near to the Burney Bit entrance.
Despite some sore heads following the previous night's celebration
(the BCV Christmas meal), plenty of energetic workers were on-site
on a gorgeous sunny day.
|25 June 2006||Pamber Forest||Haymaking|
This day's activities were in two parts, the major job being to
rake up the hay in the glade near Beaumont's Brook, with any spare time used to
trim vegetation back along the sides of nearby rides, thus ensuring that they
remain sunny and attractive to butterflies. The hay-making is an essential part of
the management of the glade - if this was not done, the grasses and flowering plants
would eventually disappear as shrubs and trees move in.
|18 December 2005||Inham's Copse||Ride-widening|
It was back to Inham's copse for the last task of 2005. A beautiful, but cold, day welcomed us. We continued the work that wsa begun two weeks earlier, pushing on towards the meadow.
|4 December 2005||Inham's Copse||Ride-widening|
This was the first of several tasks that we'll be spending at Inham's copse during the winter. Having coppiced the area to the south of the ride last year, now it is time to open up the area to the north side of the ride. We're starting near to the entrance, and working our way down to the meadow.
|6 November 2005||Fleet Pond||Alder cutting|
A day of cutting back Alder trees that are invading the margins of the pond ...
|23 October 2005||North Warnboro Green||Scrub removal|
Our job on this day was to remove an area of scrub that was invading the Green near to the ford. The problems arose after a temporary fence was erected across the corner of the Green to prevent the livestock from eating the foliage on the yew trees that border it. Unfortunately, the temporary fence was never removed, and so scrub invaded the area that the animals could no longer graze.
Our job was to remove the fence, cut back the scrub and ensure that no yew branches were within browsing reach for the ponies and cattle.
The major parts of the job were to cut back some large willow trees and a great thicket of bramble.
We burnt most of the cut material, with the exception of the large chunks of willow-branch, which were stacked near to the boundary of the Green. Below are some pictures of the day's activities.
|18 September 2005||Greenham Common||Alder Clearance|
BCV joined forces with the Greenham and Crookham Common CVs to revitalise some old spring heads that produce a pond - or rather, used to. An increase in the growth of alder within the pond basin, coupled with a dry year, had left the area devoid of water, the only soggy ground being round the heads. The mud around these places was stained brown and orange by the seepage of water carrying iron-oxide from the plateau above.
No fewer than 16 people were involved that day and the yound and semi-mature trees were soon biting the dust. Though soft, the trees still had springing sap and some were hard to fell, but the massed bands of the two groups managed it.
During the day, two frogs and a small but aggressive toad provided some diversion from the work in hand. One particular problem that had to be overcome, was a very steep slope between the 'pond' bottom and vegetation disposal area. That was coped with by an ingenious arrangement of human muscle and strong ropes, used to haul the cut timber to the upper level.
The day ended with a tired but satisfied group quietly surveying the extensive area that hours ago had been dense scrub.
|4 September 2005||Pamber Forest||Coppicing|
The beginning of the Autumn/Winter coppicing programme in Pamber Forest. This year we are continuing to extend the ride-side coppice next to Long Ride at the northern end of the Forest.
An excellent turn out meant that we made excellent progress, though the density of the trees in the work area made access difficult. The first job was to clear the area along which we would be building a dead-hedge, and while some of us did this, others carried out some running-repairs on the hedge protecting the area coppiced last year.
Once we were able make a start on the new hedge, we divided the troups into a coppicing group, a stake making-and-erecting group and a hedge-filling group.
By the end of the day, we'd managed to build a 40-50m length of hedge, and cleared a wide strip of coppice alongside the hedge.
|17 July 2005||Pamber Forest||Haymaking|
It's time for the quintessential high-summer job - haymaking. This annual task makes sure that this glade in the forest does not become invaded by scrub and saplings. The cut material is stacked onto heaps, to prevent the nutrients it contains from being returned to the soil, as this would encourage the more aggresive plant species.