DEAN GREEN TEAM

Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean

Gloucestershire

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News

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Outing to Westonbirt Arboretum - 27 April 2022

Norman's retirement - March 2022

Woorgreen mulching - February 2022

Bladderwort Pond Update - January 2022

Project Pine Marten Update- January 2022

Dartford Warbler at Poors Allotment, Tidenham - January 2022

 

 

Outing to Westonbirt Arboretum - 27 April 2022

Our Westonbirt trip has been organised for Wednesday 27th April, 10am to 3pm.

Our plan for the day is as follows:

Meet at Westonbirt Arboretum for 10am We will receive a guided walk through the old Arboretum. Lunch at The Pantry café, paid for by Forestry England. We will then head to Silk Wood to help with some of their current volunteer work and take a look at their recent bird hide project if we have time.

The last part of the day will end at 3pm, however you are welcome to stay onsite as a visitor - the site officially closes at 5pm.

Forestry England will not be covering travel to/from Westonbirt but there will be free entry for all, as well as lunch at the café covered by Forestry England.

Unfortunately no dogs will be allowed in with us on this visit.

During the visit, we will be walking for up to 2 hours on hard surfaced paths, but will be working on rougher ground in the afternoon. As we are helping with some of their volunteer work, we have been asked if we can please bring work gloves, loppers and saws if you have them please. There will be somewhere secure to store these whilst we are on our guided walk and having lunch.

If you are still interested in coming along and can make a visit on the 27th please email Emily by Wednesday 20th April, so we can advise Westonbirt on expected numbers.

 


Norman's retirement - March 2022

Norman has been coming out with the Dean Green Team for over 20 years! He has been with us virtually EVERY week and has always worked extremely hard. He has decided to retire gracefully and we will all miss him.

In recognition for his long standing support for the Dean Green Team we all signed a commemorative photo for him to keep which was presented by another of our long standing members, John.

This photo of Norman at work in the Arboretum was taken in 2016

Woorgreen mulching - February 2022

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust manage 180 hectares of open space in the Forest currently and year on year they become richer for it but some areas such as the gorse are still beyond, volunteers, grazing animals or even our alpine tractor.

To maintain a habitat in the long term, or to retain a diversity of successional stages and characteristic species, some form of management is usually required. Natural processes that formerly performed this role have now been largely lost or severely disrupted. To maintain the diverse vegetation structure preferred by reptiles it is usually necessary, at the least, to control the growth of scrub, bracken and other dominant plants.

It is important to implement a cutting regime that does not harm key features of a reptile site and it is essential to avoid simultaneous removal of all vegetation cover across a site, or substantial areas of it. This can be achieved by strategic selection of limited areas of a site to be cut (for example targeting areas where scrub encroachment is most severe) or by programmed, phased cutting of a site divided into management plots. Many smaller plots are preferable to few larger ones to maintain habitat diversity at a fine scale. Two hectares is a suggested maximum plot size on large sites; smaller plots should be used for smaller sites. Interfaces between plots of differing vegetation heights create transitional zones which provide useful habitat. Cutting should be undertaken when reptiles are least likely to be killed, ideally during the winter period of inactivity. In general, cutting should take place from November to February. However, attention should be given to weather conditions. For example, adders bask on fine spring days as early as January (in southern England) or February (elsewhere), which precludes mowing at hibernation sites at such times. Winter cutting or mowing should avoid creating large areas of very short sward vegetation around hibernation sites, where reptiles need some cover on emergence in the spring.

Bladderwort Pond Update - January 2022

We checked our Bladderwort pond which we had cleared and re-fenced on the 11th February 2018 (See Here)

The ponds are looking fabulous ready for the spring breeding season. Plenty of emergent vegetation ready for the newts to lay their eggs on.

And the stile is still as sturdy as the day it was made!

 

Project Pine Marten - January 2022

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust is extremely grateful for the support you have given Project Pine Marten in the Forest of Dean. Although a recovering native mammal, pine martens have been slow to return to England. With your support, we have been able to give the species a helping hand in establishing in the south-west.

New arrivals – an update Our tracking and monitoring with camera traps suggests that much of the main Forest of Dean is occupied by martens released in 2019 as well as their offspring. It was therefore expected that the 2021 releases would spread out much further afield. And spread they have!

 

( Click here to see the update in full )

 

Dartford Warbler at Poors Allotment, Tidenham - January 2022

A local birdwatcher has reported seeing a Dartford Warbler at Poors Allotment at Tidenham. We are thrilled with this as this is the first time this bird has been recorded here.

This small, dark, long-tailed warbler is resident in the UK and has suffered in the past from severe winters. The Dartford Warbler's population crashed to a few pairs in the 1960s, since when it has gradually recovered, increasing in both numbers and range. It is still regarded as an Amber List species.

 

 

We started this heathland restoration in Tidenham Chase park last October and this is a drone photograph of the area which had begun to be cleared .....

 

 

..... now - we have another drone photograph showing the progress of the clearing. This is a magnificent effort by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and their volunteers. The Dean Green Team will be back there soon to continue this work!