February 2012 - Coppicing work has started on a new coup in the central area of Park Wood. As with the other areas of the wood, the very old Hazel trees are all dying off and will perish unless the canopy is opened up to let more light in. Some larger trees are being felled to provide light for the re-growing Hazel. The coppicing of the existing Hazel will extend the life of the trees and the regrowth will be used for craft material. In addition to the coppicing of existing Hazel, 730 trees (700 hazel and 30 oaks) will be planted on 3rd March. Anyone is welcome to come along for the planting 10-3 - bring a spade! The replanting is to ensure a diverse age structure of standard trees (good for the long term sustainability of the wood) and also to increase the proportion of hazel which is good for providing craft material and good food for the dormice.
All this work will help to increase the wildflowers and invertebrate species with the particular hope that the rare Dingy Skipper butterfly that lives in the open woodland glades will spread further throughout the wood.
November 2011 - The protective stakes and casings of the new hazel trees planted by the conservation volunteers have been removed. The trees are doing well and big enough to fend for themselves against the threat of deer munching!
October 2011 - The conservators have trimmed back the edge of Park Wood next to the scrubland above the Purlieu. This area of land was getting increasingly overgrown. Now it has been fenced and a flock of sheep is helping keep it under control. The felled trees around the area of the new woodland glad have also been cleared.
September 2011 - The conservators have started work to clear the felled trees and scrub area where the power lines used to be. This strip of land towards the top of the wood will become a wild flower glade to encourage butterflies. It will also form a highway for bees and butterflies to fly between the fields on either side of the wood while remaining in the sunlight.
July 2011 - Now most of the wild flowers have died back we are gradually cutting up the felled wood and convert it to charcoal using a kiln, to be sold for BBQs and winter heating.
Woodland volunteers who have helped with the projects in Park Wood were thanked for their efforts with a barbecue and charcoal burning day. They were treated to a demonstration of a charcoal kiln in action using low quality timber that would otherwise be wasted and a barbecue fuelled by some of the charcoal produced.
June 2011 - Work has started to lay the power lines, which currently bisect Park Wood, under the Purlieu. Once this has been completed we can clear the brush under the current power cables to progress the wildflower glade.
Last year two Dingy Skippers, a rare butterfly, were spotted in the field next to Park Wood for the first time in three years and there have been four sightings so far this year. This is great news which indicates they are thriving in this area.
May 2011 - We are waiting for the wild flowers to die back before clearing the felled wood. Usually this would have been cleared away before the spring flowers appeared, but they were about a month early this year and we did not have time to do this. We also must wait for the birds to finish nesting to clear the piles of twigs as many birds might have build thier nests in them.
March 2011 - We are felling some of the large trees at the top of the wood to create a wild flower glade and connect the areas of grassland either side of the wood. The butterflies need the light and wildflowers to feed on and this area will provide this next to the wood where many of them live as caterpillars. The power lines you can see at the top of the wood will be laid underground down the Purlieu Road soon and then we will be able to clear all the undergrowth in this area to enhance the glade.