An enthusiastic team of families gathered at the Jodrell Bank Arboretum for the first outdoor meeting of the new Wildlife Explorer programme. Head of Gardens, Phil Bolton, had organised a busy morning work party with tasks for Explorers of all ages to get involved in.
Last year we worked on sprucing up the bird hide (which still looks great) and clearing the bird feeder area of bramble to allow clear views to the wildlife pond. This year, helped by the long,dry summer the wildlife pond has all but dried out, providing an ideal opportunity to clear some of the encroaching vegetation away from the pond margins. It has also allowed safe access to cut down some of the trees that have been overshadowing the whole area. This will extend the life of the pond and improve it’s when it fills up with autumn rainfall.
Although the bulk of the chainsawing and cutting work had already been completed this had generated a huge amount of brash that needed to be moved, processed, tidied and converted into log piles and head hedging. Armed with loppers, secateurs, bow saws and ‘big hands’ our enthusiastic families set to work.
Phil and the Gardens team will now take steps to clear the area of bogbean and will they will also be able to remove some additional willow trees and other shrubs that threatens to choke the pond.
At the end of the session the mud-bespattered team gathered at the Comet Lodge for well-earned refreshments. We had a fabulous morning and the group completed a huge amount of work in just a few hours – this helps the staff at the arboretum and most of all makes a really positive improvement in the habitats on site for the local wildlife.