LACV announces packed programme for rest of year

Lesnes Abbey Conservation Volunteers, which does habitat management work in Lesnes Woods, has published a list of events for the rest of 2015. Events are free and run 12 – 3.30pm. No particular skills or great levels of fitness are needed and there will be some wildlife walks as well as work sessions. Meet at the metal picnic table nearest the closed service yard at the west end of the old visitor centre site. For more information please contact Tristan Boulton. Telephone: 07450 552 825 Email: lacv@hotmail.co.uk. Web: http://www.lacv.btck.co.uk/

Sunday April 5, Easter Sunday

A walk around the woods rediscovering old footpaths and removing new growth from previously cut holly stumps.

Sunday April 19

Removal of holly saplings around Chalky Path.

Sunday May 3

Footpath survey and wildflower species identification.

Sunday May 17

Work on the wildflower meadow removing creeping thistles and nettles which are slowly hijacking the area.

Sunday May 31

Heathland management, cutting back species that can threaten the heather.

Sunday June 14

Another wildflower meadow task as above.

Sunday June 28

AGM on the heath followed by a heath task.

Sunday July 12

Wildflower meadow species survey and thistle removal.

Sunday July 26

Bracken control on the heath.

Sunday August 9

Final thistle control on meadow and then a woodland walk.

Sunday August 23

Final heath task.

Sunday September 6

Tools audit and maintenance and management of the Lesser Calamint area.

Sunday September 20

Walk in the woods to include a survey of previous tasks, removing regrowth from previously cut holly and rhododendron stumps and a survey of flowers, fruits and fungi.

Sunday October 4

Control of holly, cherry laurel and rhododendrons to help prevent their encroachment on the more species rich areas.

Sunday October 18

Management of Ramson Glade to keep the area open for the spring wildflowers.

Sunday November 1

Holly, rhododendron and cherry laurel control and another fungus survey and walk to appreciate the autumn colours.

Sunday November 15

Wildflower Enclosure 3 near Earthworks Path following up on previous tasks in the area cutting back bramble and holly etc.

Sunday November 29

Follow up work in Mossy Glade preventing holly and cherry laurels from encroaching too much.

Sunday December 13

Wildflower Enclosure 3 to continue the work 2 weeks previously.

Sunday January 10

Birch Hill Path. A continuation of previous events to keep the area open for the bluebells.

Sunday January 24

Holly and rhododendron control near Pine Pond to prevent them from getting too much out of hand.

LACV Chair Tristan Boulton said ‘This is intended to be a rolling programme subject to amendment.

This year pond related tasks have been left out because the lack of a visitor centre means no water to clean up the tools and ourselves afterwards. I think spring is the most difficult time of year to devise tasks for because wildflower related tasks risk trampling them, pond tasks can disturb spawning amphibians,  control of more vigorous species in the woods risks disturbing nesting birds and the more aggressive species on the heath and meadows won’t have really got going yet.

Summer is largely focused on the heath and wildflower meadows as the bracken and creeping thistles would be very much in evidence. I think 4 heath sessions (including the AGM) is best rather than just 3 as before because the bracken is proving to be more resilient than expected.  Also it seems to be one of the most popular tasks. Sunblock may be recommended for these events.

Autumn and winter tasks are concentrated on the woodland wildflower areas (as they would not be subject to any disturbance because they would be dormant) and also the management some of the more domineering shrubs such as rhododendrons, holly and cherry laurel.

I’ve also tried to weave in some walks and surveys to accompany some of the tasks as I don’t want it to look too much like all work and no play and also it would be good to educate ourselves and others regarding the wildlife found in the park.’

Native Daffodils and Wild Garlic in Lesnes Abbey Woods (Photo: Chris Rose)

Native Daffodils and Wild Garlic in Lesnes Abbey Woods (Photo: Chris Rose)

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