Maybe suggesting that we start at the end of the greenway was not such a wise idea. It seemed like a long walk to get there!!
However, the walk helps us to see what needs doing, and we also found the Lawford Brook , which is a fast running stream that is reasonably wide and deep. This brook starts in Long Lawford where it connects to the river Avon and goes under the greenway just before Potford’s Dam and connects to Cawston Reservoir. It would be great to clear all the dead and poor quality trees down the west-facing side of the embankment so that walkers can have a full view of the brook, and also maybe get some sort of bench so that the view can be properly enjoyed. This really is an exciting find because it opens up the greenway to yet another type of wildlife habitat.
Anyhow, back to today. Fantastic turnout with 14 or so of us. Good to see some youngsters mucking in too.
We took out a lot of the poor quality trees to make room for the established ones to really grow. We also raked the leaf litter into piles so the bare earth can hopefully yield us some wild woodland plants and flowers.
We are trying to get as much sunlight into this part of the path as possible, without losing all of the canopy, so it will be through the sides as well as from above. There is very little scrub so the opportunity for small shrubs, flowering herbs and grasses to grow is ripe. We are lucky that the coppice is made up of Ash trees, which don’t have a dense canopy due to having small leaves. We made numerous log piles and burnt off all the brash on a bonfire.
The next workday is tomorrow, Monday, 10:30 to 12:30. Back at the Potford’s Dam end I’m afraid. We need to do a lot of work on the west-facing embankment to release a huge Oak tree of all the interfering trees that are shooting up around it, clear all the dead wood down the slope and open up the brook. This bank is covered in leaf litter so the soil will be high in nutrients. This might lead to a load of nettles growing on it once the sunlight starts to hit the ground, but if we manage it we should be OK. And remember, nettles are a fantastic food source for 40 different species of insect to survive, including several species of butterfly which include the Small Tortoiseshell, the Comma, the Red Admiral and the Peacock. I am trying to think about food-chains and what will be the positive benefits to existing and new wildlife, from the work that we do today.
Great turn out today, our first workday of 2011 so thanks to everybody. Let’s really crack on and make the greenway something special!