September 2013 Activities:
By September 9th we had managed to work on trimming hazels and dogwood and dead lower braches on specimen trees for 9 days. There has been an amazing amount of dead twiggy rose branches towards the middle of the western bund, which, coupled with the overgrown shrubs, was starving trees of light. A small amount of standing deadwood is ecologically valuable, but too much can have a deleterious impact on live trees. Several trees were also suffering from water and nutrient stress, so lower braches were often sadly totally dead to 2 m or more. You should now be starting to get a much better view of several of the Oaks, Scots Pines, Ash, Alder, Siver Birch and Beech, and some rather straggly Hawthorn and a nice patch of Blackthorn. We have left any live rose branches, as several passers-by commented on how nice the rose hips are starting to look and they are a useful food source. We’ve left a neat pile of longer pieces of cut wood, some of which may be used south of Nelsons Lane. To keep the sight attractive for you the bulk of the trimmed shoots have been cut to 10-cm lengths and taken off site for composting. Many thanks for the many kind comments on how much better the site is looking.
August 2013 Activities:
Contractors for CYC have recently mowed the meadow and taken the cut material off the site with a view to aiding re-establishment of wildflowers. Our subsequent recent plant biodiversity survey at the time identified 40 wildflower species around the site, but many were in small numbers and at the margins because of aggressive competition from grass species.
18 August: Jacqui North and Malcolm Cresser went round the Mayfield Site on Sunday evening with bat detectors. Several pipistrelle bats were detected and some could be seen circling for food, especially between the north side of the pond and Nelsons Lane. It may well be that the bats are making use of the mature conifers in that area. They also noted that plant biodiversity on the meadow area was showing encouraging signs of improvement.
19-21August: We have obtained the first of 3 quotes for improving the path from Nelsons Lane to Little Hob Moor. This has been given priorirty as mud and ice on the path were major concerns in our earlier survey.
Because of delays in getting the license from CYC we submitted a highly detailed request to CYC to start trimming the seriously overgown hazels and dogwoods on the western bund. Though acknowledged, unfortunately the appropriate person was unable to grant perrmission to start before the bank holiday weekend. These delays make it hard for us to comply with nature’s natural timetable!
31st August: We got permission yesterday to start trimming back the seriously overgrown hazels and dogwoods and made a start on that this morning. We are doing it slowly and carefully so that passers-by should only notice small improvenents to the shrubs and see more of the more important (and potentially beautiful!) trees behind. We were encouraged by the friendly responses we got from dog walkers and local residents when we explained what we were trying to achieve for them.