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The RSPB Woodland contains some 'veteran' apple trees in the southeast corner, not particularly old, but survivors nevertheless for want of care; we are now planning some careful management of these trees together with the development of a tree nursery and orchard alongside.

This work will compliment any future management as part of an NIA, which should begin 2014.

For Winter 2013-14 NIA planning and work will take place at both the nearby Queen Mothers Plantation - 150 meters southwest of the RSPB Woodland and the RSPB Woodland

NIA = Nature Improvement Area

Plans for RSPB Woodland over the next 6 months -

  • November - Submit NIA proposal to the Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust Board; 
  • National Tree Week 2013, beginning 23rd November - develop tree nursery at south east corner of RSPB Woodland, plant trees supplied by Woodland Trust in nursery.
  • December 2013 - B&BCWT begin consultation and publicity to engage local communities and Friends of CHP
  • January - March 2014 - work begins on woodland, 11 workdays including 6 public involvement days and a half term Woodland activity day.
  • March 2014 - Public woodland event
2014-2015
Continuation of woodland management at both Queen Mothers and RSPB.

Rationale - 
The woodland was planted in 1989 along with many other plantations around Birmingham.

To further aid the biodiversity of the woodland, thinning approximately 1/3 of the trees will allow existing trees to develop the canopy and increase light levels to allow for the development of improved ground flora.

In the process a large amount of dead wood will be generated and used to create dead-wood habitat piles and hedges; these are essential for providing shelter for many species of birds, small mammals, amphibians and invertebrates - thus improving food-chain prospects for predatory creatures such as Tawny Owl, Sparrowhawk, Fox and possibly weasel.

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Highbury Park Friends January 2017 newsletter

http://highburyparkfriends.org.uk/text/newsletter/HPFbulletinjanuary2017.pdf

Join Highbury Park Friends to get up to date information about this wonderful park - follow the link above for the latest newsletter.

There's so much going on already and this is set to increase as the Chamberlain Highbury Trust look to bring many new and exciting ideas to the Highbury estate and adjoining park land. Check out their website on the links below

https://chamberlainhighburytrust.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/ChamberlainHighbury/

Weekly and monthly activities incuding 'Woodland Wednesdays' with the Rangers and B&BCWT, supported by NIA (Nature Improvement Area) funding.

Woodland Play after school club, every Wednesday at the Orchard - Highbury Orchard Community Interest Company oversee this -

http://www.peopleandland.org.uk/wp/?page_id=250

http://www.peopleandland.org.uk/wp/







A visiting student from Virginia asks -

Questions
Q1 What do you think are the biggest benefits of teaching and using traditional woodland management techniques in city parks?
A1. The essence of a Ranger’s role is to engage the community at large with the aim of encouraging more people to use parks and green spaces. Therefore a range of themes, topics and activities are employed to meet the broad interests and diverse nature of the public, involving people of all ages, abilities, ethnicities etc. 
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Ecotones and Succession = TENSION

The term 'ecotone' cropped up this week as a Tree Officer colleague and I looked at Holders Woods in an exercise to describe the woodland structure, composition and current management.
The word ecotone was coined from a combination of eco(logy) plus -tone, from the Greek tonos or tension – in other words, a place where ecologies are in tension. (Wiki)

Ecotones are generally recognised for ecological richness and a good place to observe the 'tensions' and interactions between certain animals and plants.

A woodland edge for example is often regarded as the richest part of a woodland, especially if the edge is bordered by grassland meadow or water.

The Rea Valley in this regard is a wonderful mix of urban ecosystems and ecotones, and one of my favourite locations is the developing oak woodland at the edge of Holders Woods. Undoubtedly the result of acorn planting Jays, we find oaks ranging from year 1 to year 50, but with a majority of young trees around 10-20 years, sugge…