We were thrilled to have Jon Attwood from The Woodland Trust visit Hazeland recently. He has given us lots of ideas on how to plan for forest schools and family and special access days. Now we know exactly where we’ll need clearings, access points and compost loos!
It was extraordinary to see the extent of natural rewilding in two of the fields since the current owner has removed his sheep. Alder trees, in particular, seem to be springing up everywhere and Jon was surprised by the lack of deer damage and recent new growth. We even got time for some tree-hugging – for measurement purposes of course!
Local bat specialists tell us that we have the opportunity to seriously improve habitat for several endangered species. Greater and Lesser Horseshoe bats, and also Barbastelles, have been recorded roosting and foraging in the area. These species tend to adopt rivers for their commuting, so our improvements to the Marden Valley river corridor, and the woodlands, should provide new breeding sites and foraging opportunities. These specialists tell us that Bechstein bats are also likely to be in our ancient woodland!
Woodland trust conservationist Jeremy Evans came by Hazeland and through his eyes we saw a wonderful range of habitats that we hadn’t clocked – tree fungi, wet areas of woodland, rotting stumps and scrubby edges. All of these are great habitat now but he agrees that there is massive potential to provide more. This was the first stage of our land planning and we’re looking forward to more onsite visits and even more discoveries of animal poo!
On Monday 19th August university lecturer and neuroscientist Rui Costa completed a 4 day, 90 mile kayak challenge from Reading to Bristol while raising awareness of deforestation and to money for Avon Needs Trees.
His crowdfunder page has now closed with a total of £556 contributed by 38 unique donors.
Rui’s efforts attracted significant media attention and both he and our volunteer Dorian were interviewed about it by Bristol TV.