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New Trees - Woodland Wednesdays at Highbury

Highbury Park and neighbours - wooded
Wooded Highbury

The term 'replete' has recently been used in reference to the wildlife provision at Highbury, and whilst the park can boast a healthy list of trees and bird life and perhaps reasonable opportunity for invertebrates, there is certainly room for enhancement and improvement in this regard.

The park is jealously viewed and guarded by its regular visitors and protest quickly develops as changes occur - for example recently planted hedges were met with anxiety and vandalism, new desire lines are seen as trespass and the recently announced proposal to improve the tarmac surfacing for cyclists was greeted with the following-
https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/place/bcr3-highbury-park-walking-and-cycling-route
Consultation 
Politics aside, if that's possible, an overview of the wooded fabric of the park would probably indicate a net loss of timber over the past 5 years due to ageing, and the need to 'make safe' trees within 'red zones', i.e. tree next to main paths, car parks, roads, play areas. This is irrefutable practice and dialogue between Tree Officers, Rangers and 'Friends' is ongoing. 

Sometimes trees are 'topped' or pollarded to prolong the life of the tree, such as this Oak near Shutlock Lane - 
In terms of treatment each tree is regarded according to its own circumstances .

Some of the oldest trees in Britain have been pollarded.
New trees have been introduced in recent years, either as single standard specimens to replace 'Estate' trees, or en bloc to enhance the woodland diversity, hazel whips in newly coppiced areas for example. Also one hundred 'Millennium Oaks' were planted in 2000, and new hedgerows (around six hundred whips) added in 2015.

As trees are lost each year the replacement process is ongoing and therefore a plan to ensure annual replenishment is required, identifying areas for replanting is part of the consultation.


Comments

  1. Let me know the route you'll take Alf, as I won't get there until 11ish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'll stay southside and head towards Alcester Road, give us a call when you're on site Terry

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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/







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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)

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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…