Planting in the Community
Our aim has always been to develop and plant a community wood but initially we did not have a suitable piece of land. Our first planting was beside the children’s play area on the sports field .The play surface was being disrupted by the roots of two enormous Monteray Pines and the Parish Council had them taken down. In place of the trees we planted a native species hedge to shelter the playground and increase the wildlife habitat. The first oak trees grown from local acorns by the school children of Wenhaston had to be planted around the village . There was an intermittent line of oaks marking the boundary between Bickers Common and adjacent farmland so with the children we planted the young oaks in the spaces. Likewise on Blackheath we planted oaks on the boundary of the heath and farmland. Now we are able to plant in Grove Piece alongside the natural regeneration.
We have a rota in the steering group that makes sure the plantings are checked monthly for the first few years until the guards can be removed and the trees are more robust and able to withstand competition and light browsing.
In Grove Piece we have the opportunity to watch a woodland establish itself from a wildlife barren barley field . The three hedges surrounding the field are rich and the ancient woodland of Vicarage Grove will supply seed to grow the new trees. It is an exciting prospect and one that we aim to record to some extent. In June and December each year we take fixed point photos of the site to show how the site has developed. We are keeping records of plants that have been identified to show the succession evolving as the land use changes. We are recording sightings of birds, mammals, invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians. So if you visit Grove Piece and discover an interesting plant or spot an unusual creature, please let us know.
Work parties will be held throughout the year as they are needed, to weed around the trees, protect some regeneration, replant where trees have died , fill in gaps if they become apparent, to maintain paths and rides and to keep the pond in good order.