DEAN GREEN TEAM

Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean

Gloucestershire

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News

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(Click on the item below to view)

Worcester Walk - July 2021

Daytime photo of the beaver - June 2021

Roe deer in the Beaver enclosure - June 2021

Signs of Spring - February 2021

Goodbye to the Exmoor ponies - February 2021

A thank you from the Pillowell Rec Committee - January 2021

 

Worcester Walk - July 2021

Worcester Walk is a beautiful area in the forest where a wildlife meadow now flourishes. Local volunteers regularly help out there. This last quarter has seen a surge of interest from our volunteers, all keen to get out, initially in groups of 6, to enjoy the open space and fresh air. We now have 19 volunteers on the books, with some coming weekly and others now and then depending on the tasks and whether they work at a paid job.

On site activities range from bracken bruising, decapitation of docks, as well as pulling them up where we can, but there are just too many! We have also done minor gate repairs, cleared the cattle grid, built log piles appropriately, reduced ivy on some trees, cleared grass around the whips, cleared large rubbish around the site eg. old fencing.

It has been possible to accommodate a woman who is partially sighted, who with her husband, cleared the cattle grid of encroaching vegetation over 3 weekends, as she could feel the horizontal lines quite easily. Other work for this couple have included ivy reduction on some trees, where it's easy to feel the vertical trunks, and latterly, clearing grass around the fruit cages, where it's easier to feel around the fencing cage. They are certainly Star volunteers!

 

Coalway Junior school did an on site session recently, the first for 15 months, building this bug hotel in the firetower area and bashing bracken, a very popular activity!

 

We have installed 2 Interpretation Boards, one each linked to the oak field and wild flower meadow, now covered with a perspex sheet, courtesy of one volunteer. Also erected on site is a bench with a memorial plaque to a person who regularly walked the site and whose family still do so .Both these additions have received favourable comments from site users

Six deer leaps have been installed at points where we know that deer cross into the fields, with no further incidents reported of deer being caught on the fence.

Several slow worms have been found under the felts, as well as a frog, wood mice, a vole and numerous ants!. No adders as yet this season. Our most recent volunteer is an expert on birds, so we hope to develop a more accurate list of birds who use the site. Another volunteer was able to identify at least 15 wildflower species and we know of 30 which were on a quick survey by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. A bat survey was done on 1st July.

We have a problem with the pond retaining it's water as it currently resembles a muddy water hole! We are starting soon to give it a proper lining, after which, we can landscape it and see who moves in!.

 

 

 

 

Daytime photo of the beaver - June 2021

We don't get many photos of the beavers in the daytime, but we had this one recently!

 

Roe deer in the Beaver enclosure - June 2021

We can confirm that there is a Roe doe in the Beaver enclosure, laid up quite contentedly on the south western bank under some Beech yesterday morning. She has pretty much an unending food source in there so we can leave her be for now. We ask visitors to please just keep an eye on her and if she seems distressed in any way to let us know. It is probably a nice peaceful place to be!

 

Signs of Spring - February 2021

Thank goodness - Spring is on it's way! This frogspawn was found near to Mallards Pike. It takes frogspawn approximately 12-14 weeks to hatch and become a frog.

 

Goodbye to the Exmoor ponies - February 2021


It is with sadness that we have to report that the Exmoor ponies are no longer in the Forest of Dean

It was discovered that a couple of them were suffering from Sweet Itch, or Summer Seasonal Recurrent Dermatitis (SSRD) and the decision to take them back to Cornwall, where a more exposed, windy site, e.g. a bare hillside or a coastal site with strong onshore breezes could help to clear the infection.

Sweet Itch is a delayed hypersensitivity to insect bites (Culicoides midge) and results from an over-vigorous response by the animal's immune system. In the process of repelling invading insect saliva (which actually contains harmless protein) the horse attacks some of its own skin cells 'by mistake' and the resulting cell damage causes the symptoms described as Sweet Itch. Affected animals rub themselves against trees and fences in an attempt to relieve the irritation.

 

UPDATE :- GWT have asked us to update our information regarding our recent post about the Exmoor Ponies being transferred to Cornwall, which we stated was as a result of suffering from Sweet Itch. The ponies have been removed from the sites purely for habitat management reasons, as GWT seek to get the right grazing balance between the Cattle and the ponies across the open habitat restoration sites. As the habitat matures, it is likely that additional grazing animals will be required and the pony numbers might increase once again, however this is dependent upon achieving the correct sward structure which is most beneficial for the habitat type being restored. One of the ponies removed had suffered from Sweet itch for a number of years, however this was carefully monitored and treatment applied by the vets when required, and was not the reason it has been relocated to Cornwall. In Cornwall, the ponies will be continuing their conservation work carrying out essential grazing on the coastal heathlands

 


 

A thank you from the Pillowell Rec Committee - January 2021


We received this thank you message from the Pillowell Rec Committee. It was much appreciated!

"I am writing to let you know that we are now all fenced and gated at Pillowell Recreation Ground. We closed the main gate and snapped the padlock shut for the first time on the evening of Friday 8th January and I expect you can imagine what a relief that was! On behalf of the Trustees of 'the Rec' Charity, we would like to convey our sincere thanks to you and the Dean Green Team for supporting the project to get the Rec fenced. We knew it was going to be a tough slog to get the boundary cleared but fortunately this is where the Dean Green Team came to the rescue. Since the DGT sessions in Sept/Oct, We have kept up the good work to clear brash and remove old fencing wire, but we couldn't have done it without your help. We have deer leaps, fawn creeps and 'rounded corners' to help to protect the deer and have established a daily 'fence-check' rota with local volunteers. Still lots to do and within COVID constraints we are ploughing on!"