Sweet Chestnut, clearing a new path.
A full day at the wood today our main activity was to make an alternative route around the fallen Sweet Chestnut.
During the storm of 28th October 2013, we lost a number of trees in five or six different places, several major trees were blown down including a very large Ash on the main path and one of the oldest trees in the Wood, a Sweet Chestnut, that fell across a path and into the grounds of St. David’s school. This tree was identified during our Veteran tree survey in 2008, when we measured it to be between 150 – 180 years old.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”.- Ralph Waldo Emerson. And so we did……
We managed to cut through the main trunk so that the fence could be replaced, some valiant and skilled chain saw work by Simon Ffoulkes, our Bromley Council tree Officer. We also cut away bramble and small Hollies so that the path that had been severed, is now restored.
All the work in clearing the trees has resulted in lots of good wood for burning so if you want to take your wheelbarrow and load up the logs, you’re welcome.
In October I trained as a HSBC Water Programme, Citizen Science Leader. My role is to tell people all about the issues surrounding fresh water and water quality in urban areas, as well as collecting data to go towards the global scientific programme.
And today was my first time of showing the High Broom Friends of the water sampling techniques.
We are testing for Phosphate and Nitrate levels, and turbidity or cloudiness using a Secchi tube and conductivity meter. Phosphates or nitrates from agricultural or domestic waste water run-off can lead to increased nutrient levels in the water and result in excessive growth of algae (eutrophication) to the detriment of the natural flora and fauna.
We have selected two sites along the Beck in our wood and will sample on each conservation day which should give a god idea of the health of our river. The Beck gets fed by a number of run off drains from the neighboring close. We have had a number of incidents in the past of pollutants being poured down the feeder drains which then end up in the river. So we have chosen 2 sites, one up stream of the main problem drain and one down stream.
The programme is being run in conjunction with Earthwatch, WWF and WaterAid. For further information on the Water research check out these links.
Get involved at: freshwaterwatch.thewaterhub.org
But I’m hoping the two doves found bathing whilst we were busy with our testing is a good indicator of a bio-diverse ecosystem!
Only Rain Down the Drain – aka Yellow Fish!
In conjunction with the water testing we are also looking into rolling out the Environment Agency’s Yellow Fish initiative next year to to improve public awareness of the impact of what we pour down drains can have – Only Rain down the Drain. So watch this space and maybe your drain for Yellow Fish!
A Good Job Well Done – Cheers All
Mince pies, mulled wine and lunch at Sylvia’s – as we all worked so hard and it was such a long day we certainly deserved a treat so it was mince pies and mulled wine all round and a double treat as Sylvia kindly laid on a buffet lunch for us. Well they say an army marches on their stomach and it’s no different for conservation volunteers – thank you very much Sylvia!
Well Merry Christmas everyone and see you in 2014