Friday 12th & Saturday 13th January 2018
Our Friday group was back at Ketts Park to assist Greening Wymondham with the management of the woodland belt around the site. We were again joined by volunteers from Greening Wymondham. The task today was to continue our clearance work and also prepare for the Community Day on the Saturday. The aim was to do all required tree felling today so that there was plenty of material ready to process on the Community Day.
A walk around the site identified what needed to be done. There was still brash to be burned from our last visit and trees to be removed as part of the thinning process. Matt dealt with the larger trees with the help of Julian, Keith, Pete, Robert and Rebecca and fireman Chris directing roping operations. A new pulley system allows trees to be guided down more safely and to fall in the right place. Meanwhile Alan and others got the fire going and processed the previously cut brash.
There was a large area of bramble around the edge of the site which I tackled with the brush cutter taking care to work around saplings. The sun was very low and bright, and it was difficult to find the best position to tackle the bramble without getting blinded. Robert took over and, later supported by Keith, cleared most of the bramble opening up a route through to the meadow area behind.
Matt had a new toy today – a battery powered chainsaw – and was keen to try it out. It is much quieter than the petrol chainsaw which is good, but you need to be more alert to check out where he is working. Anyway, the new toy seemed to work well, and the batteries had a reasonable life before expiring and then it was back to the petrol chainsaw.
At the end of the day we had a good pile of material ready to be processed during the Community Day.
On Saturday Greening Wymondham set up their table to greet local residents to their Community Day. The group’s aim is to open up the neglected woodland area through thinning, coppicing and pollarding to create an age structure to the tree belt. Over this and previous visits a large area has been cleared and looks really good. There is still much to be done and Greening Wymondham will continue their work with the support of the local community, the Town Council and the Norwich Fringe Project.
Matt and Paula were on hand to provide support and guidance. Me and Andrew, regular Fringe Project Volunteers, came along to help. Paula took charge of the fire which was still hot from Friday so readily burst into life. Regular Greening Wymondham volunteers are familiar with what to do and set to work processing the brash and loading this onto the fire.
A steady stream of people came to join in on the Community Day and they were buddied up with more experienced people and shown how to use the tools and what to do. During the day families joined in and Matt instructed the children (and their parents) in the use of tools and techniques for cutting trees and branches. They then tackled a stand of Aspens that had spread quite widely. Matt taught them (and me) how to recognise the Aspens from the small diamond shaped bursts on their bark. The Aspens send out root suckers that grow into trees and were working their way across the woodland.
By the time we finished the woodland was largely clear of brash. The glade areas brushcut previously had been raked to remove trimmings which will allow new growth in the Spring. The rakings were formed into habitat piles around the edge which will benefit the wildlife.
So, a successful Community Day that introduced people to the woodland and provided an opportunity to try their hand at conservation work. The Norwich Fringe Project supports several Community Groups to manage similar spaces. Our regular volunteers enjoy meeting and working with the Community Groups and helping them to manage their local environment.
More information about Greening Wymondham and photos from the Community Day can be found on their Facebook page here.