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Springing along in 2017



A Random mix of images from the Rea Valley, past and present - make of them what you will - there's not always a specific theme, other than -
  • the natural aspect of the area
  • changes over time
  • observation of small details
  • a world on our doorstep
  • discovery 
  • biodiversity
  • people 
  • together with a few urban gems, many of which will never get a mention - 

18th century River Rea near Digbeth- a big sweep on the river in those days rendered the land to the left vulnerable to flooding - 'Floodgate Street' is in that vicinity.
Ten Acres, Stirchley, Butterbur and Cow Parsley with a central sprig of Eucalyptus
Greater burnet on the banks of the Rea at Ten Acres
The guillotine lock at Lifford Lane
Coppice Regrowth at Moor Green
Mistletoe seems to be on the increase in the Rea Valley area, and we're encouraging people to send records to Eco Record
http://www.ecorecord.org.uk
Spanish bluebells with Snowberry compliment between the CHP meadow and Queen Mother's plantation
Ten Acres Field (Late 19th Century)
Dog Violets at Queen Mother's Plantation, Cannon Hill
A path bordered by wild garlic
Five fruit trees for Selly Park Rec. x2 Apple, x2 Cherry, x1 Pear.
Thanks to the Selly Oak Community Wardens

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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. 
The ‘woodland’ theme seems to have universal appeal and is steeped in history, ecology, science, spirituality, mythology and culturally, much more.
So generally we can assume people want to learn something new, make something using natural resources and have an involvement in their local green space, so that a few basic skills, some knowledge and a morsel of understanding related to ecological principles allows people to feel good about themselves and enables them to share these good feelings, acquired skills and gained knowledge with…

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…