Mind and Deafness Resource Centre volunteers make a difference at Griffin Wood

Working with the mental health charity Mind, The Mersey Forest’s Access to Nature project has helped a group of 11 men with mental health issues to enjoy exploring the great outdoors and contributing to their local environment at Griffin Wood. The group have been on a tree identification walk and have carried out conservation tasks, with two further visits to follow later this spring.

A group of a dozen teenagers from the Deafness Resource Centre have also been busy at Griffin Wood, clearing willow and removing tree guards, in the first of four activity sessions which will run through April and May. Following in their footsteps, a group of adults from the centre will soon also be starting their own series of conservation tasks at the site.

Also getting active at the woodland will be a group from Addaction, the drug and alcohol treatment charity, who will soon be embarking on a series of four conservation task sessions.

Update of our Nosey Nature Day – with Fungal Punk Dave

20th May 2012

NOSEY NATURE DAY

Ready for the off

A Fungalpunk Nosey Nature day attracted a small group and off we went in search of anything of interest.

Flower wise and the list of 29 species in bloom was as follows:- Ribwort Plantain; Meadow Buttercup; Ground Ivy; Red Campion; Raged Robin; Cowslip; Ox-Eye Daisy; Sheeps Sorrel; Spanish Bluebell; Common Nettle; Lesser Celandine; Wood Avens; English Bluebell; Common Mouse Ear; Colts-Foot; Cow Parsley; Lesser Trefoil; Celery Leaved Buttercup; Common Vetch; Common Water Crowfoot; Common Sorrel; Early Forget Me Not; Chickweed; Wavy Bittercress; Herb Robert; Garlic Mustard; Red Dead Nettle; Marsh Marigold (Double Flowered) and Green Alkanet.

11 other plants noted that weren’t in flower but just at the vegetative state were:-Canadian Pondweed; Red Clover; Yellow Rattle; Ivy; Goosegrass; Creeping Thistle; Spear Thistle; Teasel; Foxglove; Hedge Woundwort and Greater Plantain.

8 trees and shrubs noted were Gorse; Elder; Sycamore; Hawthorn; Beech; Silver Birch; Goat Willow and Alder.

On the bird front 15 species were listed:- Magpie; Mallard; Grey Partridge; Wood Pigeon; Chaffinch; Long Tailed Tit; Great Tit; Blackbird; Swift; Mistle Thrush; Jay; Common Whitethroat; Carrion Crow; Buzzard and Willow Warbler.

Insects as always were difficult due to so many maybes and maybe nots but a list of 20 definites were:- 7 Spot Ladybird; 14 Spot Ladybird; 22 Spot Ladybird; 2 Spot Ladybird; Harlequin Ladybird; Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus); Crane Fly (Tipula maxima); Red Tailed Bumblebee; the moth Adela reurmurella; Alder Leaf Beetle (Agelastica alni); Pot Bellied Emerald Beetle (Gastrophysa viridula); Green Tortoise Beetle; Gorse Seed Weevil; St Marks Fly; Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus); Lacewing (Chrysopa perla); Drinker Moth larvae and the butterflies – Peacock (*3); Orange Tip (*3) and Brimstone (*1).

14 other species found today were Common Toad; Shiny Woodlouse; Rough Woodlouse; Black Millipede (Tachypodoiulus niger); Variegated Centipede (Lithobius variegatus); Common Centipede (Lithobius forficatus); Garlic Snail; Rounded Snail; Strawberry Snail; White Lipped Banded Snail; Dusky Slug; Great Pond Snail; Rabbit and Grey Squirrel.

The lichen Xanthoria parietina and the Gall Aceria cephaloneus were observed as well as 15 species of fungi (See Fungal Friends Sightings Section) making a grand total of species seen for the day – 114. Not bad at all for a casual wander!

We’ve got the buzz

Advert for our latest course, this weekend

Have you got the buzz? Why not come down and join us learning about Bees and how we can help them, at Griffin Wood and in your garden.

Pleasae note :-Saturday 18th June – Due to predicted bad weather the Bee Survey Training.will start by Meeting at The LEAF Centre, Chester Lane Library. Hopefully wer’ll get to the woods later – weather permitting

Hibernacula project

Our native newts, frogs and toads are important predators of a wide variety of pest insects, as well being important prey for other species. Habitat loss has had an extremely detrimental effect on amphibian populations. So with winter fast approaching the FOGW took the opportunity to build a hibernacula close to one of the three ponds within the Griffin Wood site.

Hibernaculums are underground chambers that amphibians and reptiles can use in winter to protect them from predators and the cold. They can be made from piles of rubble, rocks, logs and earth banks.

Starting work on the Hibernacular

After a suitable site had been chosen a trench was built and a drain pipe fitted. The trench was then filled with sand and rubble to aid drainage.

Hibernacular

The insides nearing completion

Lots of rocks, old logs and old drainage pipes were then piled into a mound to create crevices and hiding places with bits of pipe used to create south facing entrances.

Finished Hibernacular

Finished Hibernacular

During the morning, to give our backs a rest we attended a training day at the Leaf centre (Top Tree Tips with George Pilkington). George had shown us examples of trees planted with and without grass growing around their bases. and also shown us the benefits of mulching around the trees (see:- the Nurturing-Nature link for more info). The results spoke for themselves, so we decided to use the opportunity to remove some of the grass around the young Oaks in the vicinity and use these turfs and clods to cover our Hibernacula

Sunset

Sunset over the leaf seat after a busy day