Tag Archives: working party

Working Party Progress: Dealing with dumping… 

While the other volunteers work away in the woods a couple deal with the verge.

KWAG hasn’t often got involved in litter collection across the estate as we know there are locals and walkers who often do this, and the Probation service continue to carry out community service collections. However, one area has been a persistent pain: the layby on Penpole Lane. This regularly gets fly-tipped and the Council have recently erected a timber fence to try and inhibit illegal dumping. This, unfortunately, hasn’t worked, and one of last month’s working party aims was to clear the old quarry areas of rubbish.

The flytipped area before and after work.

We found it in a poor state, with binbags, and loose waste strewn about as well as the ubiquitous used mattress! We had a great turnout for the event, so good that it only took just a couple of hours to bag-up everything and leave it for collection in the layby. Unfortunately, just a fortnight later, more flytipping had been dumped in the same area. This has also been cleared away and we aim to keep monitoring the area.
Thank you to everyone who came out to and contributed to one of our best ever attended sessions, especially the new faces who came to join working party efforts.

…and some tree trimming 

The second target for volunteers on our Working Party was a scrubby area alongside Penpole Lane, not far from the litter collection. Since the 1960s this area, once grassland, had been colonised by ash and sycamore. Most is in a poor condition, being multi-stemmed, damaged by cutting in the early years of their growth. Having persevered through many probable attempts to keep on top of them they have grown into a thicket along the roadside.

Looking south along Penpole lane showing the impact of recent work. 

Our plans were to undertake “natural spacing” or “haloing” to thin out this area, cutting out the weedier and less healthy saplings to allow the better specimens to thrive. This has the secondary advantage of opening up glimpsed views from the main path along Penpole Point to the hills of Somerset to the west. From an historical perspective, these were once greatly admired by visitors to the estate.
Working carefully, warry of bird nesting season, we threaded through the copse gradually felling small saplings and raising the crown to allow sunlight in. Whilst the impact of the work might not be immediately obvious, it has helped open the area up and should prevent the further encroachment of scrub onto the remaining meadowland.

Looking across the area from the path to Penpole Point. 

Working Party Progress: Finishing at the View Garden 

Volunteers concluded work on the old View Garden in February, with a final tidying-up of the laurels and woodland, and a focus on preparation for wildflower meadow planting. We undertook natural spacing with the woodland area, selecting the most viable saplings and shoots of trees and clearing around them to allow them to thrive in the future. This woodland management technique is the same as we started with the Forestry Commission in Penpole Wood in about 2015 and should ensure strong growth and positive regeneration of the woodland floor. We hope that this area, the glasshouse wall and verge, is back as it was when we last passed through in 2016.

incredible to think that it’s just been seven years since the glasshouse wall was last cleared by KWAG volunteers. 

A few stray laurels were felled to complete work at the corner of Kings Weston Lane and Napier Miles Road, whilst around half of the volunteers took to digging out the roots of brambles long the verges. This will be critical in ensuring that the wildflower seeding planned for the end of this month has the best chance of thriving. We’re grateful to our regular volunteer Mike, who has undertaken to return week after week to get on top of the job and organised the specification and funding for the seeding project.

A couple more cherry laurels are cleared back from the edge
The view from Kings Weston Lane showing the removal of laurels and the preparation work along Napier Miles Road, for the sowing of meadow seed.