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January to December 2014

January

Sunday 5th

Oakwood Park

Five volunteers continued the hedgelaying which began in January 2013. Today's stretch of hedge was a line of small to medium trees which, after a lot of thinning, were laid down to make a solid barrier, with good prospects of regeneration.

ECV 5 January 2014

Steve Mathieson

Sunday 19th

Oakwood Park

This was to be the last of the season's hedgelaying, but the stretch of hedge was so overgrown that, with four volunteers, any attempt at laying would have been rudimentary. Instead it was decided to do some major clearance work, preparatory to recommencement of the laying next winter.

Overall, since January 2013, approaching a hundred yards of hedge has been laid, and, apart from the first day, when the trees were too large and too sparse to make a good hedge, the end product, though not dapper, should fulfil its purpose as a wildlife habitat.
Steve Mathieson

February

Sunday 2nd

Conway Recreation Ground

Continuing the work started last year to remove the leylandii bordering the tennis coursts and the open space of the recreation ground, six volunteers attended on the first visit and cut back all the sprouting growth from the remaining hedge plants and removed the trunks of all but three very large and multi stemmed montsters! Only three brave (or daft) souls returned on the 2 March to complete this. The Friends of Conway Rec have put down a permeable membrane and replanted the area with native plants and shrubs which will eventually provide a varied display and provide shelter and food for the local wildlife.

ECV 2 February 2014

Judy Mayo

Sunday 16th

Forty Hall

Following the restoration of Forty Hall to its Jacobean splendour, a huge project is now underway to return the grounds in a similar periodic fashion. 

This means the Victorian rhododendrons which line the path between the fishing lakes and Turkey Brook are out of place. Anyone who has read some of ECV’s previous task reports will know we do not have an affinity with these plants! So when Jason Peters, the project manager for this work, asked ECV if we would like to get involved with the removal of the rhododendron, we jumped at it. On the first visit four volunteers, Jason and a member of the fishing club cut back to ground level large clumps at the western end of the lake and along the bank by the Brook. In June four volunteers again plus Jason tackled the removal of the roots of these. As the weather was very hot and the roots very deep, we were  grateful for the shade provided by the trees and the help given by two passers by, one who stayed all afternoon. Jason intends to replant the area with willow cuttings rescued from the work done around the ornamental lake. ECV hope to return in the autumn to remove some more.

ECV 16 February 2014

Judy Mayo

March

Sunday 2nd

Conway Recreation Ground

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Anon

Sunday 16th

Whitewebbs (Mile and a Quarter)

The New River, Old Course, as it winds between Whitewebbs and Forty Hall, is an unusual asset to wildlife, being in effect a long, thin pond which has varying amounts of water dependant on seasons, weather and microhabitats along its length. It is, however, generally bordered by trees, and this means that branch drop gradually fills the waterway.

Today the main task was to remove wood and other detritus from a stretch of the water to ensure that it remains an aquatic habitat in the future. Four subsequently mucky and smelly volunteers dragged a mass of material from the stream bed and left more standing water than they found.

ECV 16 March 2014

Steve Mathieson

Sunday 30th

Trent Park, Williams Wood

Four volunteers continued with our intermittent project to clear rhododendron from Williams Wood. With its dense shade and poisonous foliage, rhododendron is particularly harmful to woodland, and its invasive nature is demonstrated by its spread across areas which we have cleared before. As the roots have to be dug out to make any real progress, clearance is slow, but after a day's work with bowsaws, loppers, mattocks and spades, several large piles of spoil testified to our destructive capabilities, and the open woodland floor which has expanded over the years shows the value of our efforts.

ECV 30 March 2014

Steve Mathieson

April

Sunday 13th

Hilly Fields

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Anon

Sunday 27th

Whitewebbs (Mile and a Quarter)

Five ECV members continued a task on the mile & a quarter to open the area up to give more sunlight. Small trees  were taken out, overhanging branches from trees were cut down. All this was done while we had some help from the sheep in the field who ate some of the hawthorn…  The ECV members worked in the sunshine and the rain at times but fun was had by all….
Jo Newland

May

Sunday 11th

NE Cricket Ground, Hilly Fields

A ditch which separates the London Loop footpath in Hilly Fields from the NECC had become badly overgrown and full of debris which was causing the cricket field to become water logged. Five ECV members including a member who had not been seen for over 10 years continued the task to open up the ditch again and to help the water run through it more freely. This was done by cutting back overhanging branches and removing self seeded trees, dead wood, silt and ivy from the ditch and bank. ECV were working in the shade, mud and water and managed to clear about another third of the ditch.

Jo Newland

Sunday 25th

Forty Hall

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June

Sunday 8th

Forty Hall

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ECV 8 June 2014

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Sunday 22nd

Whitewebbs Wood

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