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.Continue reading “February 2020 Update”
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.Continue reading “Seasonal work continues…….”
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!Continue reading “Making Progress”
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.Continue reading “Bird Surveying”
We are now fully into the season for maintaining the grasslands within the cutting. This involves cutting the growth down low with a brushcuuter, following by raking off the cut material. This keeps the nutrient levels as low as possible, providing the most suitable conditions for the wildflower growth next season.Continue reading “Grassland Cutting Season”
Work parties have now resumed at the quarry and will run each Tuesday throughout the Autumn/Winter season.
Work has been initially focused on maintaining the existing grasslands that we have. This means cutting the low growth with a brushcutter and saws to reduce overhang from trees and scrub.Continue reading “Work Parties Back in Action”
With the arrival of summer weather, we are seeing a significant increase in invertebrate activity in the cutting. This is most noticeable for butterflies and dragonfliesContinue reading “See What Summer has Brought”
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.
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.
During November and December, three of our volunteers have undertaken training leading to City and Guilds Qualifications. These will permit the recipients to carry out tasks in a more efficient and effective manner.Continue reading “New Skills in the Volunteer Team”