2 – Workdays

Conservation work on Brook Meadow
Management of Brook Meadow is essential to maintain an appropriate habitat for wildlife and to enhance the biodiversity of the site. To achieve this, the conservation group works in co-operation with the local Council and other agencies to keep the meadow in good order both for wildlife and for public use. It holds regular conservation work sessions to manage grassland, scrub and woodland and, generally, to keep the meadow clean and tidy. The rivers are primarily managed by the Environment Agency to maintain a good flow of water, avoid flooding, and to create a good habitat for fish, Water Voles and other riparian wildlife.

Volunteer work sessions
Conservation work sessions on Brook Meadow take place from 10am to 12 noon on the 1st Sunday and the 3rd Thursday of each month throughout the year. Everyone is welcome and tools are provided. We meet at the new tool store HQ at the end of Seagull Lane. Safety for all volunteers is a priority and risk assessments by trained members are given at each session. There is a break when refreshments are served.
The main tasks include cutting and clearing of the grassland and scrub, removing broken tree branches and keeping pedestrian paths open and clear of obstacles. Clearing litter is a priority. Children and students from local schools and colleges are welcome to join in for work experience.
For details of specific work sessions call Jennifer Rye – 01243 376926

Meet at the Tool Store Seagull Lane. Tools and gloves provided.
Next ones on Sunday 4th Feb 2018 and  Thursday 15th Feb 2018


Conservation Work session – Thursday 18 January 2018
Report by Dan Mortimer. Photos by Dan Mortimer (group) and Brian Fellows.
Dan Mortimer reports. After last nights heavy winds and rain, I expected a poor work party turnout but was pleasantly surprised when 10 volunteers arrived at HQ.
Tasks were explained and we split into 2 groups. The first group tided up the fence that we laid on the previous work party with additional posts and bindings. Also, the hedge which we made by the tree area opposite the S bend received attention, posts were laid making it look a professional job.

he other group had the horrible task of tiding up the river bank south of the North bridge, very carefully weeding nettle roots by hand , back braking work. All part of our ‘ Bring back the Water Voles to the River Ems scheme’.
After break we all put down wheel barrow loads of wood chip by the steps on the very wet and muddy path by the North bridge.
Again many thanks to Pam for tea, coffee and biscuits.

Conservation Work session – Sunday 7 January 2018
Report by Maurice Lillie. Photos by Brian Fellows.
The first work session of the New Year. Bright sunshine flooded Brook Meadow as eleven volunteers arrived, although the temperature was only a few degrees above freezing. Maurice Lillie, leader for the session welcomed everyone and explained the tasks to be carried out. Brian photographed the assembled gathering.
The main job was to complete the dead hedge at the “S” bend of the river bordering the Central Meadow. The first activity was to obtain the materials – posts and binder/weavers. These were sourced from the group Osiers on the east side of the North Meadow by Phil, Gordon, Tony, Terry and Colin who cut the timber and sorted them. The posts were cut to length and carried to the job site where Colin pointed them before driving them into the path edge.

Meanwhile, Lesley did a litter pick over the three meadows and in Palmer’s Road Car Park
Kathy and Jutte assisted by Dan, removed the pile of debris from the fallen Elder, a casualty of the weekends storm, and placed it between three trees in the Central Meadow close to the “S” bend as a barrier. During this work they discovered a cluster of Jew’s Ear fungi attached to a small twig. Fairly common around the meadow.

Jennifer, climbed down into the river and sawed off a broken willow branch that threatened to create a local blockage.
A constant supply of binders and weavers arrived to be woven into hedge posts by Pam, Colin, Jennifer, Dan, Terry and Maurice. Maurice’s hat blew off his head and he had to scramble down the river bank to retrieve it.
Kathy and Jutte transferred their affections to the willow hedge near the sluice in the north-west corner of South Meadow, where they removed the extensive growth of shoots on the top and sides, so that passers-by have a view of a section of the river.
At 11 o’clock Pam provided much needed refreshments gratefully received by the workforce.
Noon arrived just as we were completing the hedge making. After that, the tools were cleaned, counted and returned to their store.

Maurice Lillie provided a photo of the completed dead hedge with an unusual design
And one of the Willow hedge tidied to provide a view of the river
Maurice thanked everyone for their hard work and congratulated everyone for their efforts and excellent team spirit. The next work session on Sunday, 18 January. We will meet at HQ, located between the north bridge and The Seagull Lane gate, at 09.50, for a prompt start at 10.00. All volunteers, both regular and anyone else, will be warmly welcomed. Trained First Aiders will be on hand. Refreshments will be available. All necessary tools are provided and, where necessary training will be given.


All earlier reports for 2017 are on the archives page.
Go to . . . https://www.brookmeadow.org.uk/conservation-news-archives-2017/

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