DEAN GREEN TEAM

Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean

Gloucestershire

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7 March 2017

Staple Edge

Grid Ref SO647099 

 

The pond below was once part of an SSSI site as it flourished with Great Crested Newts but it was thought that the newts had disappeared after the massive tree fell in the pond and smothered it. We removed the tree (using the ranger's chain saw and winch) and cleared a lot of the boggy water weed (which was stinking!). We were really pleased at the end of the day as two Great Crested Newts were seen and they should have a more open pond now.

 

 <- before - after -> 

 

 

 

 

 

There were some large clumps of the invasive Rhododendron bush which we removed. Rhododendrons are not commonly found in the Forest of Dean.

Once Rhododendron has invaded an area few native plants survive.Once the native plants have disappeared, the animals which rely upon them either directly or indirectly for food cannot survive. Thus Rhododendron areas are essentially barren. Even where trees exist above the Rhododedron canopy, species such as woodland butterflies disappear. This is because the caterpillars of most woodland butterflies can only feed on the wildflowers and grasses which are found in the glades and rides of well managed woodland.

 

 

 

 

A further group went up into the deep, dark woods to clear a glade of the self seeded Hemlock trees and had enormous fires. They saw a herd of deer as they arrived there and some wild boar were watching them.