Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean


Home Page


20 November 2012

Clearwell Meend

Grid Ref SO581087



Oh dear! This was one of the wettest days we've ever had to work in! There was a distinct lack of numbers in our team today but the few hardy souls who turned up really did a brilliant job. Yes - the weather was appallingly wet, windy, dour and dank. Yes - the task was tedious with a lot of raking away the strimmed turf. But, at the end of the day, a general feeling of satisfaction was achieved by all concerned.

This site is on a Limestone bed and is very important for Autumn Gentian and Autumn Lady's Tresses so the job of strimming the turf and raking the grass is very beneficial to these species which was shown this year when a good number of these plants were in bloom after we had done this task earlier in the year.



Common Name: Autumn Gentian

Latin Name:Gentianella amarella

Family: Gentianaceae

Gentians have medicinal uses, and have historically been used to treat digestive disorders. This biennial herb is generally rare in the Country. If you are lucky enough to find one it is likely to be on limestone soils amongst short open calcareous grassland. It is a late flowering-species; the lilac flowers can be seen from August to October.




Our next task here is in a couple of weeks and we have a totally new area to clear which is full of shrubs, trees and tussocks.





The open area before it was cut with the rough tussocks in evidence.

There were signs of wild boar by this area which is a worry as the boar will root around eating the gentian tubers as they do with the bluebells in the forest and it would not take long for them to decimate the landscape. This is a contentious issue as many people believe that the boar rooting will benefit the turf but when the plants are so rare any disturbance can be catastrophic.





Full waterproof clothing was required with one of our team wearing a black plastic bin liner to keep the rain out!






The raked up turf was carried to the side and dumped on the bramble patch.

















































Back to Top