Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Sunday 7th February: Coppicing at Riverside Pond

Sunday saw the first task carried out by Priory Park's newly formed volunteer group. Eight volunteers turned out - despite a chilly early morning start - to coppice small trees and saplings from around Riverside Pond.

The aim is to improve the condition of the pond edges by removing trees that block out light and remove moisture from the ground. (The photo shows Leigh, with a bundle of ash saplings removed from one small area.)

A secondary aim was to cut back growth encroaching on the path around the pond and reopen a part of the path that had become almost totally overgrown.

Our eight stalwart volunteers quickly got to grips with the task and had soon cleared the path, creating a beautifully woven dead hedge from the material cut. Saplings and small trees began to disappear from around the pond and the dead hedge grew longer and longer. The photo shows Neil, one of our star hedgebuilders adding to the hedge.

A lot was accomplished on the day - if you pop down to Riverside Pond you can really see the difference its made. One lady walking her dog remarked its the first time in 10 years that she has been able to follow the path all the way around the pond.

So its grateful thanks to Leigh, Lin, Daniel, Neil, David, Alan, Paul and Geoff for all their hard work.

If you would like to volunteer and help out with practical conservation tasks around the Park our next task is Sunday 7th March: coppicing willow around Priory Main Lake and the Finger Lakes. Meet at the Visitor Centre at 9.30 to 9.45. Wear stout shoes (not trainers), outdoor gear, a packed lunch. We'll provide tea, coffee, biscuits and squash and you can earn Pride in Bedford points too. Below you can see us enjoying a well earned tea break!