|Some of the Conservation Group members with their
award certificate and the new trees ready for planting
We are very proud to receive this award – it’s the first time the Community Award has been given to groups rather than individuals. We’ve been looking after Wapley Bushes for 24 years on behalf of owners Dodington Parish Council, but now it’s time to look further into the future.
The major threat to the Nature Reserve is ash dieback disease, which is now within a dozen miles of Yate. Eventually, but fortunately very slowly, we will lose most of the tallest trees that form the canopy of this ancient woodland. We have started a long-term programme of replacement planting with different tall native species – oak, whitebeam, black poplar and small-leaved lime.
We planted our first batch of 30 trees last weekend (25 March), with the help of South Gloucestershire’s new Member Awarded Funding scheme. We are aiming to plant another 90 trees next winter, gradually working our way through the woodland. By the time we start seeing major effects from ash dieback, the new trees should be at least semi-mature and the reserve will be able to carry on supporting a wide range of species.
19 volunteers came along to Saturday’s work morning, meaning that as well as the planting we were able to carry out a comprehensive spring clean. We were glad to see that there wasn’t too much litter around, but even so we came away with three black sacks full.