Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean








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3 October 2011

Staunton Meend

Grid Ref SO543123

It has been a while since we last went to Staunton Meend which is a beautiful site with far reaching views. The whole area had been scraped a couple of years previous to this visit and there was now a small jungle of birch growing everywhere. We were asked to try and pull the birch out with the roots attached as much as possible. This would have been a far more arduous task if the weather had not been so glorious! We covered a large area but there is still at least an acre to be done in the future.

We also saw many wild violets in flower which is unusual at this time of year as they are normally spring flowering plants. However, the recent Indian summer with temperatures in the high 70 degrees may have encouraged them.


Team briefing


Work in Progress


Fly Agaric

Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)

These were found beneath a large Birch tree

The fly agaric has tiny, hair-like roots which attach themselves to tree roots. In this way the toadstool can siphon off some of the nutrients from the tree. This does not seem to damage the tree in any way.

Did You Know?
The name 'Toadstool' might make you think that toadstools got their name from being a piece of amphibian furniture, but in fact 'toad-stuhl' is a German name, which means seat of death!

The team are spread out on the heath and are putting the pulled birch into piles which will be later removed.

The team are being briefed about the task ahead of them.

The bracken is being regularly battered down to weaken it and this is having the desired effect.




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