In July, the Trust ran another successful course with Flora Locale on woodland management to improve biodiversity. The photos show the group looking at the newly created coppice coupe in Elliker Wood and discussing the fluctuating water temperatures in the River Wharfe
Now it’s late Spring the countryside is full of flowers and our efforts during previous seasons are showing results:
During the winter months, the eastern boundary of Ox Close wood has been cut back. Trees that were overhanging the field have been removed or trimmed back to allow more light to the field edge thereby benefitting any growing crops. To maintain a boundary a new hedge has been planted along this side of the wood. Thanks go to The Woodland Trust for supplying the plants, guards and supports.
At our AGM in May, the Trust commenced its 25 Years Anniversary. Professor Ian Rotherham gave a talk on Ancient Woodlands to which the village History Group were invited… our first combined event.
During the afternoon before the AGM, members of the Trust and the History Group accompanied Ian through Ox Close wood where given an enlightening aspect of the history of the wood. The rainy conditions did not dampen anyone’s enthusiasm!
During March, the bridleway down to the river was re-surfaced. The spoil that this work generated has been tipped to the sides of the bridleway and as a consequence has covered locally uncommon species of wild flowers. The Trust met up with the Footpath Officer (Groundwork) and the Parish Council to discuss this and other damage that was caused.
On Monday May 8th the cubs took their 15 bird boxes to Ox Close Wood. They enjoyed the evening as they climbed short ladders to screw their boxes to well distributed trees.
If you wish to attend, it is essential to book. For further information go to the Training section of www.floralocale.org alternatively email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet initially at Greenfields.
The rain over Christmas Day and Boxing Day caused unprecedented flooding. Locally, the river rose to its highest level in living memory. Last year’s repairs to the bridge appear to have survived although the toilet near the kiln area got flushed away!
On Monday 18th May we surveyed the bats in Ox Close Wood. Our bat expert, who is a consultant ecologist, brought a number of bat detectors so that we could all have a go at listening to and deciphering the calls that we heard. Four bat species were identified during the evening; Daubenton’s, Noctule and Common and Soprano Pipistrelle. The river was a particularly rewarding area where nearly all the bats were seen and heard. A couple of the bat detectors could record calls and further species may be identified when these recordings are analysed over the next few days.
Two more bat evenings are planned for the 17th and 24th June when different areas of the parish will be surveyed. If you would like to come; meet at the church on Moor Lane at 9.30pm. or contact 01937 574140.
To further increase the biodiversity of uncommon wild flowers in Ox Close wood, we have again been plug planting in the grazing pasture. The plants were grown in the Trusts own wild flower nursery from seed that was collected locally.
About half of the wood was clear felled in 1992 by its previous owners. Until then, this area of the wood consisted of non-native conifers that shaded the ground so much that very little was left of whatever seed bank might have been present. Consequently the area that is now kept open by conservation grazing has a poor range of wild flowers which we are hoping to rectify.
This time, to deter the deer from jumping over wire fences, the posts have been angled inwards and the tops of the mesh netting has been laced with string.
Species that have been planted include Betony, Rock Rose, Aquilegia, and Ladies Bedstraw.