Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean


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22 February 2022

Dark Hill and Gorsty Knoll

Grid Ref SO588087



A large team turned up at Dark Hill Ironworks for the day. We were split into four groups around the site. One group cleared small birch and bramble from around the Titanic steel works ruins - one group used slashers and rakes to clear bracken and gorse on Gorsty Knoll - one group raked the bracken further up the hill - and one group cleared and built a brush fence near to the new pond. In the afternoon, further brush clearance was done around a well established pond.




Dormouse rescue!

This is a photo of a hibernating dormouse.

Dave Dewsbury is the Gloucestershire Naturalist' county recorder for reptiles and amphibians. His wife, Sue, found this dormouse recently when they were raking up bracken on their reptile transect. It was down on the ground under the bracken thatch where it is almost like compost. They made a new hollow very nearby and settled it in there asap apart from the quick phone photo. It is the first dormouse they have ever found.

They think the Forest is very under recorded for dormice and would like to do a survey with the Dean Green Team.





Our young member is holding the remains of a dormouse nest.





The pond is a fairly new addition to Dark Hill woods and the team are clearing around it and building a brush fence.





Our team are enjoying pancakes which had been, very kindly, cooked for us by Sue Dewsbury.





The old small pond is looking healthy and we cleared the brush and trees around it to allow for more light.





Slashing the bracken and bramble is quite hard work but it does clear the area for early wild flowers.