Saturday, 28 September 2013

weekend workparty


Today was day two of the Shropshire and Staffordshire National Trust Volunteers three day work party on Wenlock Edge. We continued where we left off yesterday, coppicing along the edge of the old railway line in Easthope wood. This has made using the bridleway much more pleasant as it is more open and once we have felled a few larger trees (mainly Larch) should open up a great viewpoint towards the Stretton hills. Butterflies and wildflowers such as primroses should also benefit from the increased light levels that this work has created.

 Finding suitable fire sites was a little tricky and led to lots of dragging being required, fortunately the tractor was on hand to assist with the movement of brash.
 
This is the view i had from the tractor just before delivering another load of brash to the volunteers.
Not all of it ended up on the fire, we also cut some hedging stakes and binders for hedge laying.
 
As usual the group got loads of work done for which we are really grateful, tomorrow we move to a new site, creating a viewpoint in Northway wood.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Deer

Whilst checking some footage on the camera trap i found something interesting recently. We know that Fallow deer and Muntjac deer are present in the woods but we weren't sure if there were any other species about.
The footage below shows a male or buck Roe deer in the woods at Presthope. It is possible to identify it by the distinctive shape of its white rump (males being kidney shaped whilst females are heart shaped) and the antlers are different to the palmate antlers of the Fallow bucks.

 
Roe deer are common further South but not so in Shropshire, they are one of only two species of truly native deer in the uk, the other being Red deer.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

free food!

It is a brilliant year for fruit and currently there is an abundance of blackberries ready for picking throughout the woods.
They are great in pies, crumbles, jam, smoothies or simply on their own freshly picked. So if you are heading out into the woods soon, bring a container or two and simply look out for patches of bramble, watch out for the thorns and pick away.
 
As well as being delicious to us, birds also use blackberries as in important source of food. Blackbirds are gorging themselves on them and they are also eaten by migratory birds such as Blackcap and Whitethroat as they build up their fat reserves before departing for warmer climates. Please leave a few for them !