ECONET   Conservation Volunteers, Reading, Berkshire
Conservation of the Natural Environment
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CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)
Wednesday, 3rd December 2014
Hosehill Nature Reserve, Theale ~ Scrub clearance

Although the day's task was scheduled to be scrub clearance it was to evolve into a variety of activities.

While most of the group started creating an opening through what was in danger of becoming an ever expanding blackthorn thicket in the meadow area, a few went to the clear vegetation which had been removed from the pond. This had been left on the pond's bank allowing any creatures it might contain to return to the water but was now to be transfered to a bramble patch some distance away to decay before it took root at the water's edge and started to grow.

By coffee time the opening through the blackthorn was complete as was the clearance work by the pond.

After our usual break we moved to the butterfly bank to burn brash which remained from a previous task and rake the open areas removing strimmed material which would otherwise decompose increasing fertility to the detriment of the wild flowers.

Don't ask!

With good progress being made it was decided we should coppice an area between the bottom of the bank and the woodland's edge.

This consisted of young trees predominately Italian alder which had been planted on the site and seemed to be proliferating in this particular area, together with some ash and a few hazel and blackthorn.

Once cut the stumps of the Italian alder were to be treated to prevent regrowth.

The winter sun was already low in the sky.

While most of the brash was burnt, habitat piles were also created.

A few moments for reflection .....

..... and a final cup of coffee.

We hope that his wife was as pleased as Mike with their new clothes prop.

Our thanks as ever to all who joined us and to Cathy for the photo's.

Created: Monday, 8th December 2014
Photographs: Cathy Holwill