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On More Desirable Lines

Posted: Wednesday 3rd May 2017 by LowerAireValley

Monday 24th April saw the Group out at Townclose Hills working in Billy Woods on a project that will hopefully help simplify what now amounts to a confusing series of woodland tacks. Natural England have suggested there are just too many routes through the woodland and this is having an undesirable effect on the site as flora is being prevented from colonising the woodland floor and the passage of both foot and cycle use is eroding away the sensitive limestone soil.

Monday 24th April saw the Group out at Townclose Hills working in Billy Woods on a project that will hopefully help simplify what now amounts to a confusing series of woodland tacks. Natural England have suggested there are just too many routes through the woodland and this is having an undesirable effect on the site as flora is being prevented from colonising the woodland floor and the passage of both foot and cycle use is eroding away the sensitive limestone soil. It is hoped that the erection of dead-hedging in the form of barricades will deter users from straying from more designated routes. These will be further enhanced by erecting signs and route markers to guide people along safer paths away from cliff edges and steep adverse slopes. This is designed to allow the woodland to rest and recuperate, reducing stress from the impact of over-use. Much work has been done over the last three seasons to restore the woodland and increase bio-diversity in both flora and fauna. The hazel coups are showing good results from recent coppicing and layering. This site has a problem with Ash Dye Back and any work within these area has to be conducted within strict Bio-Security guidelines. This means all workers footwear must be disinfected on exit from woodland to eliminate any transfer of pathogens to other non-infected habitats. The work constructing the barriers was a good laugh and even though we were constantly having to try and keep our balance standing on loose soil on very steep slopes to knock stakes into the ground the results were very satisfying. However there is always the problem with hawthorn and I have only just pulled what I hope is the last thorn out of my legs but as we always say, 'It's character building'. However we persevered and managed to construct five good sized barriers from weaving the evil thorn around the posts. The day was made even better as 'She that makes the cakes' was there and with the hot water from the tea flask, break and lunch times were much enjoyed. It’s great to have a good laugh among like-minded folk who are all 'singing from the same hymn sheet' in Mother Natures book. But there's no need to feel left out, as after reading this, because you too can make a difference and even if there's only a few hours to spare you will be welcome you to join us, in doing our bit and putting, however much or little we can manage into it because this feeling of satisfaction never ceases in knowing you have given something back and even enjoyed it. See You Out There, Pete.

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