Early start on the greenway today due to me having an action packed day (my birthday) however, good to see that nine or so made it. Sorry about the lack of direction at the start but we are in completely new territory with the reed-bed and need to work out how we tackle it.
Basically, I think we need to create a series of dams in the stream so that the reed-bed once again floods. The problem that we have is that we don’t want to flood the road that runs past the reedbed and under the bridge. The bank needs to either have a zig-zag path cut into it, or steps cut with boards and pegs, to allow access. I have asked the Environment Agency for help and advice and as soon as I get this, we will be clearer on what we need to do. It will be a massively diverse wildlife area if we get it right.
We did well to clear the bank and as we work there more often, we will start to understand what we need to do.
The grassy area on the embankment needs the bramble to be taken back completely. This will allow grasses and wildflowers to grow and is going to be a very butterfly rich area. Mike from Butterfly Conservation has some Wild Strawberry plants for us and this will help to attract the Grizzled Skipper butterfly, which is an endangered species.
I will bring the brush-cutter tomorrow and really crack on with the rest of the bramble. I don’t like to use it when we are all working quite close together, and we didn’t really have a clear plan today and it’s a pain to lug all the gear down, just to lug it back again.
I think we can do a lot in this area in the next ten days. Thanks to all who made it today, and thanks for persevering with plan A, then plan B, then plan C…!!!!
Next one is tomorrow, Monday.
PS: All hotmail addresses seem to get bounced back from my email, so subscribe or miss it.
PPS: Mike from Butterfly Conservation is willing to teach us how to do Transect Recording. This is all part of the monitoring to see if we have improved the area for butterflies and other flora and fauna. As the years roll on, it will be nice to see how we have improved the greenway for wildlife. If you want to learn how to do this, let me know and I can arrange a training day with Mike. However, it’s not just about the wildlife. It’s also about creating a great green space for people to use and enjoy. Remember that Sustrans are eventually going to link up the section from Potford’s Dam to Draycote, and Marton to Offchurch Greenway, so we will have a clear greenway all the way to Leamington Spa.