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Showing posts from 2011
UPDATE MARCH 2012
All the cutting for the season is now complete in the RSPB woodland and further work between now and the end of March will involve path access work over the muddy patches.
Cockshutt hill School are currently constructing a small section of Hazel corded pathway near the coppice 2011-12 area and this will continue on the 5th March.
Following this we will monitor and record the re-growth in the coppice area and hopefully witness an increase in the number of invertebrate food plants, it will be interesting to see what appears.
FURTHER PLANS FOR CHP WILDSIDE DURING 2012-2013 Following the CHP Friends meeting on 4th March, the Rangers and Friends will be recording the flowering species in the wildflower meadow and collecting seeds locally to enhance the meadow throughout the year.
Although not a brilliant profusion of colour last year, the meadow is nevertheless valuable for providing nectar food plants for bees and butterflies. I'll be asking local naturalists and wild…
RSPB Plantation

Woodland workday and consultation

On Saturday 29th October we are holding a consultation and workday event at the RSPB Woodland.

This will be an opportunity to see and discuss the work taking place on this 22 year old plantation.

So far we have had work parties from Bournville College and the Bridge Centre to coppice an area of woodland consisting mainly of Oak, Hazel and Blackthorn in a practice that will see a rejuvenation of the ground vegetation in spring-summer 2012.


Volunteers will receive training in tool use, health and safety and woodland management procedures and will be able to discuss plans for the rest of the plantation.

The event is between 10.30 am and 3.00 pm
Meeting at 10.30 at the Tea Rooms
Wear clothes and if you have any bring gloves and a packed lunch, I will bring the storm kettle to make tea.

Call the Rangers for more details on 0121 675 0937
During the past week two groups and a work experience student have been busy with the Rangers at the RSPB plantation, one of the groups from HSBC and one from the Bridge Centre in Moseley, both of whom will be there again this Thursday.

Work has begun at the top of the site, cutting back overgrown laurel and blackthorn and also along Spencer's hedge and more coppicing work continued to provide dead hedge habitat and a variety of other products.




Woodland work experience student Tommy gets to grips with 'snedding' using a 'southern counties' billhook
These photos show the current barrenness of the woodland floor, no ground cover at all, and this will change next spring as increased light levels encourage new ground growth. This particular willow shaded out a large part of the area. The willow has been pollarded rather than coppiced, thus adding a mid layer of new growth also to be revealed next spring.

There's light

The strength and energy of 16-21 year old men can be invaluable when considering the labour involved in the management of our woodland.

Half a day coppicing at the RSPB plantation, in fact it was 1.5 hours as we struggled to get going, followed by heavy rain which cut the day short, witnessed tumbling overgrown hazel and the development of a dead hedge, achieved by lads with 21" bowsaws.

Ten level I students were given woodland management guidance by four level II students, overseen by Rangers and College staff to provide means and method allowing important interaction between young men and the land.

The most important factor in all this is that these young men have a strength and vitality, whose recognition is long lost; some thrived, some were enthusiastic, some asked questions, some just got on with it, some messed about, one worked with his arm in a sling and barked orders when the College tutor was 'talked over' and all went away hungry and wet.

Their achievement is …
The RSPB woodland at Cannon Hill Park was planted in 1989 to mark the centenary of the RSPB and the City of Birmingham





Further site details can be found in the Cannon Hill Park site conservation plan from 2008
Two trees within the woodland plantation predate the 1989 plantings, these being a 150+ year Oak and a 100 year old Sycamore, other than these all trees were either planted in 1989 or have developed from self sets since that date.
According to a report from 2008 the area is said to be approximately 5 hectares.
Canopy species includes stands of - • Oak 10% • Hazel 10% • Ash 25% • Scots Pine 10% • Silver Birch 25%
Other significant canopy cover consists of - • Aspen 5% • Alder <5% • Cherry <5% • Hornbeam
Other species include - • Lime • Prunus spp. (Blackthorn, Plum) <5% • Willow spp • Wayfaring Tree • Yew • Larch • Sycamore
• Spindle • Rowan • Apple
Re-growth and self set species include - • Ash • Hazel (from previous coppicing) • Cherry • Oak (nothing older than about 3…