Work Party Report – Hadleigh Great Wood, 12th January 2020
A bright morning greeted an excellent turn-out for the only Essex winter work party. It was tremendous to see so many new faces, which bodes well for the future.
A short walk from Poors Lane past recent coppice coups led us just past the main flight area of the Heath Fritillary where we were to cut a scallop to benefit our Essex speciality. The site was chosen as it had small amounts of cow wheat along the edge of the ride, was south-facing and was on a path between the main flight area and a coupe to be coppiced next year. The idea being, that cow wheat will spread from the ride-edge and the Heath Fritillary will move into this new scallop that acts as a stepping-stone to future new habitat elsewhere in the woodland. Thanks to Tristan, the Essex Wildlife Trust warden, who demonstrated tree-felling techniques to our new recruits. While most felled trees, it was down to others to process the cut timber, forming piles of cordwood (1-metre lengths of thicker wood for firewood) and 1.5m straight lengths for fence posts. The thinner trimmings, or brash, were piled at the back of the scallop, although some was used to protect the spring regrowth of cut stumps from the Muntjac deer that appear to be on the increase in this wood.
Many thanks to all who contributed to a thoroughly enjoyable day - Jane Batchelor, James Beaumont, Mark Bunch, Tristan Colaço, Ian Cotgrove, Mike Gittos, Richard GreatRex, , Martin Heywood, Paul Hudson, Bryan Russell and Rob Smith.