Piers’ Working Party Report September 2022“Sadly I missed the September working party as I was helping out elsewhere. But the valiant volunteers met as usual and went to work on the copse of Western Red Cedar where Stara borders with Colquite and Colpit Cottages on the river’s east bank.

Western red cedar is known to be one of the most durable and stable types of timber available. As an interesting but trivial aside it is the most common wood used to make bee hives, but it does create a rather gloomy environment so we are hoping that some thinning of this plantation might let some light in and encourage other, native, species to grow up amongst the cedar and help us towards our goal of reverting Stara to its ancient woodland roots.

The cleared timber will be used around the woods in the future, mostly as fence posts as this species is especially resistant to rot without requiring any chemical treatment (ah, now the bee hive thing makes a bit more sense!!!).

Also the group found time to clear some of the main drainage points on the east side of the river which will be needed this winter as the river fills with rainfall both from upstream and from within the woods itself. It is so easy to get used to the river in its current quiet and calm state, but in only a few weeks we will be facing a far more menacing beast, possibly in places over a metre deeper than now.

Next month’s working party will be on 1st October at 10am as usual. All being well we will be working up in Broadwood’s new plantation where the bracken will be starting to die and fall over. This is a very risky time for our young trees up there as wet, dying bracken is very heavy and can push young trees over or even choke them, so we will firstly be finding the young trees, then clearing the bracken around them to ensure they survive into the winter when the bracken will gradually rot away. This is a big task and may take the next 2 working parties, so please come and help if you can, but wear suitable clothing and footwear as it will be soggy!
Thanks, see you there.”

Note from Anne – this may not seem very glamorous work, but as far as the future climate is concerned, it’s vital that our young broadleaved trees survive and thrive, so this is very important work.

As always, thank you to everyone of our Friends and volunteers for your continued support. It makes it all worthwhile.