A lot of the work undertaken in recent weeks has focused on improving the woodland edges. This has been a mix of coppicing, laying new live hedge rows, putting cut material into dead hedges and complete tree removal (especially sycamore).Continue reading “Ashlawn Cutting – Early Spring Update”
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
Although we are still a few months away from the frog breeding season, there is always something that can be done to increase the breeding success, One of the primary locations for frogs within the reserve is the pool that exists immediately south of the station platform. Water levels will naturally increase here during the winter months.
One factor in breeding success is access to sunlight and the warming effect of the sun’s rays then reaching the water. To that end, it is an annual process around the pool to cut back some of the willow. The pictures show a before and after at the northern end of the pool.
The cutting back produces waste wood, a lot of which is in straight lengths. This cut material is all incorporated into the dead hedge that surrounds most of the pool, This hedge provides the dual benefit of a natural habitat and a means of discouraging dogs from running into the pool, which is especially important during the breeding season.
The primary asset of Ashlawn Cutting is its grasslands. They are cut and cleared during the autumn/winter season every year. The cut material is always removed to avoid enriching the soil from the decaying vegetation. The grasslands are then best placed to provide the right environment for native wild flowers and grasses. This then forms the wanted environment to support a diversity of invertebrate life.Continue reading “Ashlawn Grass Cutting 2021”
A group of dedicated volunteers are working on laying a boundary hedge where the cutting, runs alongside the Diamond Jubilee Wood.
The existing tree/scrub stock was not purpose planted for hedging, so the volunteers have to make the best of what is available. This often entails using thicker than desired tree trunks, which are “pleached” to leave a live connection to the rootstock.Continue reading “Hedge boundary to Diamond Jubilee Wood”
The Ashlawn Volunteer group has been awarded Gold and Overall Winner in the Environmental Category of the Rugby In Bloom 2021 competition.
Many thanks go to the volunteers who work on maintaining and enhancing the Ashlawn Cutting reserve throughout the year.
Volunteering resumed at the cutting on Sunday 18th April. The focus from then on has been to control and eliminate non-native species. This does cause some concern with visitors, as were are observed removing Bluebells. The bluebell in question is of the Spanish variety. It is both non-native and invasive. It is growing where we would much prefer to have native wild flower and grasses growing, which in turn provide a benefit for the native wildlife.
I have provided a guide to the difference between native and non-native bluebells, produced by ©Katrina Martin / 2020VISIONContinue reading “Holding Back the Invaders!”
The Rugby Wildlife volunteer group has made exceptional progress in the latter part of this year, especially having lost over 20 weeks of activity due to coronavirus lockdown. December’s work has focused on two key areas – Maintenance of Pytchley Marsh and creation of new hedgerows.Continue reading “Ashlawn – December 2020”
The volunteer group has made great progress on two fronts – grass cutting and hedge maintenance. We are fortunate to have work that enables the group to spread out to conform with covid-19 distancing requirements, while still having no one left in isolated working.Continue reading “Ashlawn Update (2) – November 2020”
The annual task of cutting the grasslands and taking off all the cut material has been going for 6 weeks so far, with a few more to go. This exercise is vital to protect and enhance the growth of wild flowers and grasses for the multitude of species that depend on them, This in turn also provides sustenance for the lower end of the food chain!Continue reading “Ashlawn Update – November 2020”