Below the surface

A lot goes on at Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve between workdays. Members of the committee and friends walk the Reserve regularly, tidying up and clipping back overgrowth. Dodington Parish Council’s handyman and street warden visit to clear litter, especiall after busy weekends.

Other “unseen” work includes monitoring the fruit trees and treating them with traditional remedies as necessary. Members of the public report any problems they find on the Reserve, and the Committee or the Parish Council try to deal with them as quickly as possible.

We also do a monthly photo shoot right round the Reserve, the Common and the Orchard – we’ve now got an archive of digital photos going back to January 2003. This allows us to monitor how things develop month by month, and to compare different years at the same time.

Sometimes the photo survey produces surprises – these plate-sized bracket fungi have appeared in the last month. We know where they usually appear each year, so we keep a look out every time we walk round to see whether they’ve arrived yet.

All this information feeds into our management of the Reserve. The Five Year Management Plan is being revised at the moment by a professional ecological consultant, and he will be making recommendations that form the basis of the work we undertake on work mornings or commission contractors to carry out.

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