All the planned blackthorn clearance has been done, we are all ripped to shreds and we still have some to burn off but its finished, done gone and out of the way. The volunteers have worked so hard on this, its incredible to see the difference. The Vols have also been grafting hard to repair the East and west gate, digging drainage channels, removing the soaked top soil and getting the path back in a usable state. Its a sign of our success in managing the Meadow that visitor numbers have shot up even in the winter months, with the extra foot fall causing the footpath damage but its easily fixed with revetment. We will be using our felled Ash to edge the entrances, digging further water run-offs and using the Lop &Top from our felling to make chippings, Horses go through the gate regularly so we will have to make the chipping bed fairly thick at around 24 cm. Then top up as necessary.
Now we have cleared the Black thorn from our West boundary we can start to plant up other variety’s of hedging trees and shrubs, this is not going to be used as stock fence but as a wild life habitat and hopefully for training. We will have to keep a close eye on the Black thorn stumps and make sure it does not push its way back into the grass land.
Bramble is another of those plants that if you don’t keep an eye on it, you discover it slowly moving over the land taking paths out and swamping the grassed areas. More days in the week please
We do have a small area with Ash on that I think we can return to meadow grass, we will have to keep a watch out for nesting birds but the Ash removal would increase the grassed part of the Meadow by around half an acre, if we keep the grass short for a few seasons and do some wild flower planting it should not be long before the area is transformed. Since we have decided to plant as many appropriate, rare native species perhaps 3/5 Black Poplar trees would be good ?