Archive for October, 2010

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

Apple Day

October the 21st is Apple Day, an annual celebration of apple, orchards and local distinctiveness. Initiated by Common Ground and celebrated each year since 1990 by people organising hundreds of local events. Why not join in?  Common Ground has used the apple as a symbol of the physical, cultural and genetic diversity we should not let slip away. In linking particular apples with their place of origin, they hope that orchards will be recognised and conserved for their contribution to local distinctiveness, including the rich diversity of wild life they support. 

Please visit www.commonground.org.uk for details of this year’s Apple Day events across the country and if nothing else, how about taking some British Apples into your place of work and share them with colleagues?