Latest Conservation Report
The weather has not been very helpful in our ambitions to clear more of the invasive scrub and tree growth from the marshes. The contractors have done marvels over on the eastern side but we have struggled a bit to attempt the Gelvert and Fugelmere Marshes. December we gave up under the hazards of ice and high water level and moved instead to Gelvert Glade. Here we removed more of the holly growth which was becoming dominant and shading out other woodland plants. We also cleared a few more of the smaller trees to admit more light to the woodland floor. The foliage was very wet and although we had a good fire by the end of the task it took a long time to build up any heat.
January’s task was in the Fugelmere area. We divided our work between removing holly and rhododendron from the woodland and removing scrub and saplings from the Fugelmere Marsh/Bog Myrtle Glade interface. This time Terry had the help of two Explorer Scouts, Dan and Theo, and a healthy fire was roaring away by the time we started the main cutting task. This meant that we had a good heat to bake some potatoes and they cooked very well. This is a treat we might repeat (he said poetically).
We are coming to the end of the period when we can work in the wildlife sensitive areas. Birds and small mammals will start to set up territories for nesting towards the end of February if the weather is right. We have a possible task in March in Gelvert Glade clearing more holly or in Jacob’s Glade repollarding some of the willow if we can be sure no nests have been built. If nesting has started then we will start our summer tasks of path repairs, stream bank repairs and replacing or repairing fences. I have set up a volunteer e-mail distribution list to update our valiant volunteers on the forthcoming task each month. If you are not on the list but would like to be please let me know.
Contact for more information:
Colin Gray, 14 Kenilworth Road, Fleet, Hampshire GU51 3DA Tel: 01252 616183 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers are always welcome to join our working parties at the Pond.
We assemble at the Countryside Workshop, Old Pump House Close, Fleet, around 9.00AM to start work at 9.15 AM.
Tasks usually stop around 1.30 or 2 p.m. but we can continue after lunch if enough volunteers decide to stay.
Unfortunately the Sunday tasks are not suitable for children under 14 years. Children aged 14-15 years must be accompanied by an adult. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
We also offer opportunities for corporate groups or local organisations such as Scouts and Guides to have a separate session please contact us using the above details for more information.
Please ensure you wear warm, old clothing which is likely to become wet and muddy. Take care when walking over the soils as there can be hidden stumps and deep holes in the marsh.
Our tools are very sharp so use great care when carrying and using them. Please do not hang bowsaws on stumps or trees where a passing volunteer can walk into them. Training and correct use of tools is always given before a task is started. It is important that when using tools youngsters under twelve are supervised by an adult. We ask parents to accompany the under 12s to all working sessions please
We supply a warm drink and the famous Mars cakes mid-morning. All tools are supplied and we have a stock of wellington boots and protective gloves if you do not have your own.
For more information please contact Task Co-ordinator Colin Gray as follows:
Colin Gray, 14 Kenilworth Road, Fleet, Hampshire GU51 3DA Tel: 01252 616183 e-mail: email@example.com
We cannot work in the wildlife sensitive areas in the breeding season, so tasks will include protective fencing installation and repair and making bench seats.
Please bear in mind that the working conditions at Fleet Pond can be hazardous in terms of unstable and wet ground. Marshland areas have pockets of muddy water deeper than a Wellington boot. Heathland areas have tall tussocks of Molinia (Purple Moor Grass) and old tree stumps that can twist an ankle if not negotiated with care
The Countryside Service Rangers will welcome weekday volunteers for various tasks. These might include clearing paths of vegetation, repairing footpaths, helping to clear to clear trees on heathland restoration work or keeping ditches clear of debris. If you would like to help the rangers please contact Rachel Jones.