February 2020 Update

We have spend the last few sessions on clearing the scrub growth from Gun Hill Bank. This area had been cleared many years ago, but the scrub came back when active management was not continued. The aim is to now clear and keep clear, so that this section will be part of the open grassland corridor within the reserve. In time, we should see a restoration of beneficial wild flowers and grasses.

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Seasonal work continues…….

We have been cutting and raking off the grasslands and verges for the last two months and we still have several weeks until the task is completed for this season. This work is essential to provide the right conditions to support the native grasses and wildflowers that grow throughout the reserve. This is the foundation for the varied invertebrate life that in turn supports the birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians that live here.

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Making Progress

There are work parties every Tuesday at the quarry. The main focus is on controlling scrub in the open areas. The work has continued on opening out the glade adjacent to the playing field. Also, work is now progressing on the slopes of the quarry to control the unwanted cotoneaster and pyracantha to permit the native plants to hopefully prosper!

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Bird Surveying

There has been some opening up of small rides within the scrub, to provide an opportunity for bird surveying. The birds are caught in a fine net, then assessed, ringed and released. This is all done by experts, who are working alongside our conservation volunteers. Over time, this will gives us a much more precise account of what species we have (and don’t have!). We can direct some of our land management efforts into improving the prospects for birds within the reserve.

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A Walk Through Ashlawn Cutting

This video takes you through the entire length of the Ashlawn Cutting Reserve. You will see examples of the natural delights to be found and some of the volunteers who actively maintain and enhance the site.

Credit goes to Ken Monk, one of our dedicated volunteers, for producing this presentation.

November 13, 2018

It has been a bit hit and miss with regards to getting regular work parties running at the quarry site. A well attended session took place on 13-12-2018, under leadership from Brandon. It is hoped that a local work party leader can be appointed early in 2019. Then, we can look forward to running regular sessions at this site

The work on this latest session involved the removal of tall saplings from a glade that is adjacent to the playing field. The cut down material was placed into dead hedging, which provides a beneficial habitat for smaller birds and invertebrates.   The cleared ground then becomes a warm glade within the trees that is especially beneficial to butterflies.

The photographs show the end result and the team taking a well earned break.