The Autumn/Winter work parties resumed in early October. The primary focus has been on cutting the existing grasslands. There has also been some additional scrub clearance to both extend and enhance the existing grasslands.
The poor calcareous soil on the quarry spoil banks are ideal for supporting wildflowers that are not so readily spotted elsewhere in the local area. The plants in the picture gallery can only thrive where not trodden, so look beyond the path edges and in areas where the vegetation has not been disturbed.
The open grasslands at the quarry have unfortunately seen too much human activity during the warm weather, with a lot of the ground smothered by sunbathing. This has taken its tool on the orchids. Fortunately, some have still thrived where there has been no disturbance.
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.
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!