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  • Writer's pictureGabbie Joyce

December 2022 Marlpit update

During the last three months, trustees and volunteers have been busy within the woodland.

3 Sept – clearing felled trees, pond preparation, path edging.

10 Sept – preparatory work with neighbouring landowner.

17 Sept – clearance work along St Andrew’s boundary.

24 Sept – a bonfire.

29 Oct – hedge laying, with many volunteers.

5 Nov – bonfire to clear significant brash from previous tree felling.

26 Nov – making safe the goat willow, one of the trees identified as a significant risk on the tree survey.

Hedge laying along St Andrew's Lane

In Spring 2022, thanks to support from County Councillor, Mark Kiddle-Morris, we planted a young hedge along the boundary with St Andrew’s Lane. Along this verge, we tidied existing overgrown hazels, removing dead and damaged branches and began the process of traditional hedge-laying.

In October, following a good season of growth, we continued the hedge-laying process adding further security along this boundary.

Thanks to our volunteers, who helped ensure the survival of our new planting during the prolonged spring and summer drought. We have not lost any new plant.

Working with volunteers

We have a small group of regular volunteers, coming along on average twice a month.

Wildlife on site

We have had a number of interesting sightings of flora and fauna, regulars such as frogs, muntjac deer and several birds. There is evidence that one of the birdboxes is being inspected by a woodpecker, perhaps house-hunting for his spring 2023 move.

We also believe, based upon survey evidence at a neighbouring property on St Andrew’s Lane, that the site is a hunting area for bats; Common Pipistreille and Natterer specifically noted in the survey recordings. At some point, we hope to do some on-site surveying to confirm this belief.

Working with local schools

This woodland has become a valuable outdoor learning space from Necton Primary, just walking distance away. On 16 November, we hosted sixteen Year 2 students as part of their woodland scholarship activities. A second visit from remaining Year 2 students is scheduled for December.

Looking ahead to Winter & Spring

We will be focusing on these tasks over the coming months;

Steps – to improve access between the shady fern area up to the fallen oak on the high path.

Another rubbish clearance session – as vegetation dies back in the winter, it uncovers yet more rubbish that we must collect and dispose of.

Jubilee tree planting – three white barked birch will be planted close to the future pond site.

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