DEAN GREEN TEAM

Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean

Gloucestershire

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29 September 2020

Linear Park Wildflower Area

Grid Ref SO638136

AND

Pillowell Rec and Mire

Grid Ref SO62510606

This week, our FE Rangers had organised 4 groups of 6 people which was quite an admin task for them! We were lucky to have glorious sunshine as we spread out over the sites.

One team went to the Linear Park wildflower area where they were clearing scrub as it is home to many of the forest butterflies including the rare Small Pearl-bordered fritillary.

One team went to Pillowell Mire clearing vegetation (mainly bramble) back to help increase the biodiversity. The site used to have a lot of ant hills and therefore a lot of Green Woodpecker – one of which we had flying over us a few times as we were working.

Two other teams split up at Pillowell Recreation Ground (War Memorial). Pillowell Recreation Ground itself has endured for almost 100 years but the fences are derelict and the playing surfaces have deteriorated but this site is now a glorious meadow - a much loved sanctuary for wildlife and a place of relaxation for locals and visitors alike.

Sadly this valuable lowland dry acid grassland 'meadow' habitat has been seriously affected by boar damage over recent years. Pillowell Village Hall Committee has been running a local fund-raising campaign and additional grants have been gratefully received from West Dean Parish Council, Dean Meadows Group and the Foresters' Forest Landscape Partnership. So, with the Recreation Ground Charity back in business, it should now be possible to replace the fence.

Land management is one of the Charity's priorities so it will be running a few "workdays" this autumn, the first of these was held on Tuesday 29th September and managed by Forestry England with Dean Green Team volunteers. A couple of trees needed immediate attention, there was some litter picking to do and we needed to start clearing the boundary so that the long awaited replacement fence can be erected. A great start and more to follow.

 

Linear Park

Galls on Meadowsweet leaves.

A plant gall is an abnormal growth induced by the presence of another organism in this case the larvae of a midge. This is the gall of a gall midge and below the 'blister' on the leaf is a shallow depression containing the larvae of the midge. The larvae matures later in the summer and falls to the ground to pupate- amazing things!

Linear Park

Social distanced tea break, but still close enough to have intelligent conversation (our Ranger's dog may not agree with it being that intelligent!)

Pillowell Mire

The Mire is always quite boggy and it is a huge task to remove invasive bramble.

Pillowell Recreation Ground

The recreation ground used to host football, rugby and cricket but the boar damage has put a stop to that. There was a very large and dangerous falling Oak branch which had to be removed.

Pillowell Recreation Ground

This is part of the area around the recreation ground where we were clearing a 3 metre wide corridor so that the fencing can go through.