On Saturday March 21st a small group of us planted willow rods in two of the wetter areas of Malster’s Little Field. Osiers were planted in the very wet patch in the south east corner, and basket making willows in the wet corner near to the gateway between Malster’s and Grove Piece. These will provide some useful resources as well as demonstrating how coppicing works but on a much shorter timescale than most other coppiced trees. Also two long willow rods were planted in the new hedge, these will be managed as pollards so the tops will be cut off shortly to encourage a number of branches to develop at the top.
Alan had been making bird boxes and erected these in hedgerow trees. He also set out some reptile sheets, it will be interesting to see what we find under those.
The work party on last Saturday (February 22nd) saw more trees planted in Malster’s Little Field. Twenty-seven Sweet Chestnuts are now going in an area at the eastern end of the field. in future these will be coppiced every twelve years or so to provide timber and firewood. Sweet Chestnut coppice is a favourite habitat of Nightingales so here’s hoping!
We also planted the two Wild Service trees donated by Heather Philips, one near the footbridge at the entrance to Malster’s and the other in Grove Piece between the seat and the pond.
Ken and Joan from Norfolk visited us. They are are in the process of setting up a group to plant woodland in Filby, just north of Great Yarmouth. Ken is an expert in the group of micro moths whose caterpillars feed by tunnelling in leaves, the leaf-miners. We are hoping that he will return in the autumn to identify some of those that live in our woods.
While this was going on at Grove Piece and Malster’s Geraldine and Liz were looking after our display at the “Our Shared Earth “ display at Halesworth library and answering lots of questions from many interested visitors.
It’s amazing how much nine people can do in a couple of hours. At our first work party in Malster’s Little Field we got busy cutting, planting and constructing. We planted over 60 hazels for coppicing and 17 crab apples (I’ve just found a recipe for rosehip and crab apple jelly). I’m sure the birds will take their share of the fruit harvest too. We cut a path from the footpath through Malsters to Grove Piece to encourage people to keep to a route so that wildlife is less disturbed. In time we may well extend the pathways. The cut path now links with the footpath by a bridge we put in place over the ditch. A hot drink from the Kelly kettle, chocolate cake and flapjack were all very welcome at the end of this activity. Thank you to all who helped today and to John Hill for delivering the matches that we forgot to take. Marie
Thanks to all who contributed items, made cakes, setup tables and did all the other things that contributed to such a successful sale. Not forgetting, of course, all the customers that came and bought the jumble, I hope they all found a bargain!
Nothing was wasted, the Helping Hands charity in Halesworth took everything that was left over at the end except for the books and these went to be sold at the Oxfam bookshop in Woodbridge. (Two car-loads of them!)
Financially it was extremely successful, we don’t have a final figure yet but it will certainly be over £700.
It is amazing what can be made from a pile of greenery! On Saturday Camilla demonstrated how to construct a wreath and then everyone got busy, Camilla circulating with advice and assistance. Fortified with homemade cakes and hot drinks, cajoled by Christmas music and a buzz of friendly interaction, there was a lovely atmosphere. By 4.30pm an array of wreaths were being photographed displaying such a range of styles. Horace was helping his aunt but said he wanted to make his own wreath next year. Let’s hope we can repeat the event in 2020, it was a great way to start celebrating Christmas.
Blyth Woods are happy to announce that the purchase of Malsters Little Field has been completed. We would like to send a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who has given so much support and contributed to our fundraising efforts.
We haven’t allowed the grass to grow under our feet and have already put our management plan into action with children from Wenhaston Primary School squelching through the mud to plant the boundary hedge. Many thanks and apologies to whoever is responsible for their laundry. The fundraising will continue to cover ongoing costs of trees to plant, maintenance and equipment, with the first event of 2020 being a Grand Jumble Sale at 2pm on 18 January in Wenhaston Village Hall.
Please come along to one of our Saturday work parties at Grove Piece at 10am on 25 January and 22 February and find out more about plans for our expanding community wild spaces