A lot of progress has been made in this latest month. Work has taken place on:
- Finishing the boundary hedge to Diamond Jubilee Wood
- Pushing back ivy and scrub growth from Tower Bank
- Creating an open bank below the hedge to Jolly’s Meadow
- Restoring the bank below Timber Court
- Letting light into the Station Pools by coppicing and/or pollarding the tall willows
The hedge bordering Diamond Jubilee Wood is all about wildlife habitat, rather than a straight line boundary. The volunteers have made the best use of what was available. The hedge in conjunction with other tree thinning will allow more light into the cutting. As the hedge naturally thickens, it will provide essential cover for smaller birds. The pictures give a flavour of the completed work
Tower Bank is where the water treatment tower for the Great Central Railway once stood. The clearance work has actually exposed some of the original brickwork. This is good habitat for native wildflowers and grasses and provides wildlife connection to the surrounding grasslands. The work effort has focused on controlling the growth of ash and ivy so that other plant species can establish themselves
The sloping bank between the drainage ditch from Pytchley Marsh and the boundary hedge to Jolly’s Meadow had some clearance made a few years ago, The recent focus has been on controlling scrub regrowth and actually extending the area of open ground. This will provide habitat for native wildflowers that support the invertebrate life within the cutting. By virtue of being opposite to the station grasslands, it complements the aim to have sunny and sheltered ground ofr as much of the day as possible.
The bank below Timber Court had very dense coverage from non-native laurel trees, obscuring the ground and the water within the station pools. These have been cut back over the last couple of years, with the final felling taking place this month. There will still be regrowth that will need to be curtailed in the future. There was also a dense coverage of Ivy. Work has focused on reducing the ivy, to allow the primroses that are underneath to see the light. This area holds great promise for the future
An interesting find under the last laurel to be cut was a specimen of Collared Earthstar fungus. Whilst not rare, it largely goes unseen as it is usually found under dense tree coverage. Further detail on this can be found here.
There is extensive willow growth rising from the bank below Timber Court. In the competition for light, a lot of this leans over the station pools. Work has started to both coppice and pollard this. This will give the dual benefit of allowing more light to reach the water and provide denser/lower coverage for birds from the regrowth that will take place.