Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean








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18 January 2011

Ridley Bottom Nature Reserve GWT

Grid Ref SO563985


The team, having previously cleared tree overhang from the 2 southern meadows were working to restore the northern meadow.

This small field has suffered the most from scrub and subsequent tree growth as it was trying to serve more functions than it was able. The small strip of coppice was simply making the remaining meadow area really hard to maintain as there was barely room to turn a tractor for hay cutting and the site is difficult to access as it is. The trees have all now been felled and the stumps cut very low to allow hay cutting equipment to pass.

The stumps are treated with herbicide to prevent any further woody shoots and all the material stacked for sale as firewood which, the income of, will help us re-fence the site for our Hebridean sheep.

The field is now twice its previous size and we can concentrate on managing the hedgerows as good Dormice corridors and bird nesting habitat when some are laid next month.

There is a fair amount of detritus (twigs, bramble and leaves) which will need raking off the ground to really let the wildflowers germinate unimpeded and as the trees were only 31 years old we can be certain there is a wealth of wildflower seed waiting to burst out of dormancy.

We will arrange a picnic day at Ridley in June to allow us to enjoy the benefits of this work and survey the flora for comparison to earlier surveys. With a walk, locally as well, it should give us all an idea of the reserve in context to the surrounding landscape.

Ridley Bottom




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