Volunteers for the Friends of Carpenters Wood were joined by many volunteers from the Countryside Management Service (CMS) for our last work session of 2019.
We undertook some ride management work, as well as clearing encroaching vegetation to improve access, for site users, along the newtork of paths throughout the woodland.
Then we stopped for our main business of the day, a magnificent Christmas barbeque provided by CMS. A massive thank you to CMS for your expertise and hard work!
Silver-washed fritillary have been seen again in Carpenters Wood. The eggs are laid on tree trunks and in the Spring move down the tree to feed on Dog Violets which are plentiful in Carpenters Wood. The butterflies were seen settling on the flowers of brambles.
Volunteers have been clearing some of the paths in the Hillas section of the wood. We still have more paths to clear and always welcome new volunteers to help!
Another Friend of Carpenters Wood has found some striking looking fungi enjoying the decaying broadleaf tree trunk:
And for the first time we have seen White Bryony in the Hillas section of the wood:
Owl, recently photographed in Carpenters Wood by Zac Pattison.
A few years ago, volunteers made and installed bat, owl & bird boxes for Carpenters Wood. (A location map for these is on this website) The smaller bird boxes have been used from the first year, and we have had evidence of bat and owl activity in the woods, but this is the first time anyone has shared a picture with us of an owl using one of the owl boxes (“Owl 3”).
The beautiful bluebells are out in Carpenters Wood. And maybe they have spread further into the woods this year.
Also flowering in Carpenters Wood is the rather less showy, but rarer, Coralroot bitter-cress.
Volunteers have been busy over the winter.
Reducing holly to improve light conditions:
Planting oak saplings grown from seeds collected in the woods:
Learning from Three Rivers District Council how to remove the lower branches from the smaller trees with our new saws:
And yet more holly!
Since our AGM in September the volunteers have been working hard to clear an area of bramble in Hillas Wood which will become a ‘nursery’ for young hornbeam, beech and oak trees. These saplings will be used to replenish the woodland in areas where new regeneration is needed, particularly along the boundaries where ancient Hornbeam is in need of expert intervention. Over the last two or three sessions in the woodland we have been hacking back the brambles in a discrete area of Hillas in order to allow TRDC to get into the area with machines which can extract Larch roots and then rotivate the area to remove bramble roots. This is an exciting project for our volunteers as we will be involved in clearing, then planting the nursery and tending the new saplings until they are ready to be used across the woodland. Our December session involved us having a fire to burn all the brash collected (agreed and overseen byTRDC). There is still more work to be done clearing brambles, which can be a trying exercise but the results we have achieved in a relatively short space of time are astonishing. The attached photo shows us enjoying our bonfire session!
Carpenters Wood in Chorleywood, is an ancient semi-natural woodland covering 56 Acres, having been wooded for at least 400 years. Our woods lie in the Chilterns and forms an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which are of County importance for their wildlife and fauna. Access to these woods can be gained through Farm Road and Whitelands Avenue.
The ‘Friends of Carpenters Wood’ are a group of local volunteers, who have for many years dedicated themselves to caring for the woods with the support of Three Rivers District Council Woodland Management team and the Countryside Management Service. The Friends meet in the morning twice a month on pre set dates and a diary of volunteer sessions is available on this website. We are involved in path clearance, holly removal along the boundary of the woodland, general maintenance work, and specific project work that is linked the next 5 year plan aimed at continuing enhancement of the woodland for it’s users.
We are always keen to welcome new volunteers so I am happy to point out that the work we undertake provides healthy exercise to suite most levels of fitness, it also allows the volunteers to understand how, through proper management, the woodland can be preserved for future generations. So please contact Barbara Green on firstname.lastname@example.org
Work in progress
“A very lively woodland session took place on Saturday, 19th March, with ten volunteers in all! With so many of us we made a big impact on the holly along the southern boundary of Hillas Larch plantation. So now, as you walk round the perimeter of the plantation, the sunlight will filter through the breaks in the trees allowing the path to stay dry and enabling walkers to enjoy vistas across the neighbouring fields. It was our last big ‘push’ before the birds start nesting and holly removal stops for the season. What a great team!”
The volunteer group with the help of CMS installed 2 new benches near the Farm Road entrance to the Wood during their Thursday working session.
The new benches have been sited to provide beautiful views across the landscape.
It was hard work as the benches are extremely solid and made of oak. The legs are buried over 1 metre into the ground.
The benches have been provided by Three Rivers District Council as part of their support for Carpenters Wood. The team took a well deserved rest at the end of their efforts.
You can see more photos of the bench work by going to our Gallery