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!