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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wed 15th Jan 2014 - Parkhurst Forest, Newport.

Mark's Photographs.

Carrie's Photographs.

With the rain still bucketing down at 09:30, it was one of those Wednesday morning where you think "Shall I bother going to GG this week?" Having grabbed the waterproofs, it was off to Parkhurst Forest car park only to find the place packed with GGmers cars - what a hardy bunch! In fact, the rain eased off for the majority of the session with just a short, sharp shower mid morning. As we were working some distance from the main car park, it took some time to organise the car convoy, open and close gates etc and head off north west along the forest tracks. Our task was to clear an area that had been felled of trees sometime ago but had now become overgrown with self seeded saplings and shrubs. Mark explained that this particular area of the forest was one of the few areas where some of the rarer butterflies (see Nature Note below) had been seen in the past but they preferred open places where wild flowers grew. By clearing the area it is hoped that the wild flowers will grow once again, thereby encouraging the butterflies back. Kitted out with bow saws and lopers, we were soon spread across the site, cutting back everything in sight and piling it into neat habitat piles. The hedge laying work that some had done previously was put to good use for making the stakes to contain the piles of cut material.
Considering that some time was lost to getting to the site, it was amazing to see just how much was achieved in the time available. It just goes to show, don't let the rain put you off going out - there is no such thing as bad weather, if you are getting cold or wet then you are just not wearing the right clothes....!

Nature Note.

The area we helped clear has been home to the Grizzled Skipper butterfly in the past. For further information, please use the link below.

Shown in the photograph above is the caterpillar of the Oak Eggar moth. This one was photographed (found by Helen) and then carefully re-homed so as not to disturb it further during our clearance work. Click on the link below for further details.

Many thanks to Carrie and Mark for the photographs.

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