News about seasonal changes at Filnore Woods and how to get involved as a volunteer, if you want to.
Filnore Woods is the Community Woodland for Thornbury in South Gloucestershire. It aims to provide a diverse range of habitats for wildlife, to give people a wild place to visit and to provide opportunities for education. Find them across the field behind Thornbury Leisure Centre, BS35 3JB.
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It's difficult to upload on this blog so if you would like to see a copy of the latest management plan compiled in 2014, email me at email@example.com and I will send you a copy as an attachment. It's 17 pages long but gives a good insight into what we have at Filnore Woods and what we are trying to achieve. More digestible is the 2015 update supplement which summarises our latest plans. Here it is below.
Filnore Woods Community Woodland
Action Plan Supplement, March 2015
Paths, steps and seating
Paths: continue to
maintain paths at 3m wide where possible.
Through grassland this will entail monthly mowing, in areas like the
tree nursery field encroaching vegetation will need cutting back two or three
times, woodland paths eg from posts 11 to 8, will need more levelling with
woodchip and maintenance of wooden path edgers.
Steps from the allotments and near the footbridge will need
fresh woodchip and maintenance of risers.
Possibility of installing new steps on steep stretch through blackthorn
thicket between posts 8 and 9.
Seating: Install a second
bench seat at the viewpoint and consider further seating possibilities
Grassland paths short grass areas long grass
Maintain grassland paths 3m wide by monthly mowing.
Maintain short grass areas similarly at Welcome Area, Memorial
Limes, Viewpoint, and other recently cleared areas e.g. near Cowshed
Cut at least some of the long grass areas as a start on a
rotational mowing of the whole grassland resource. This rotation may take some years to complete.
Stream consolidate banks clearance
Near the footbridge various works to consolidate and stabilise
the banks and render the footpath less boggy in winter.
Start clearance of vegetation along banks to enable access –
eventually a new path through the Valley below posts 9 and 10.
Consider building dams, both permanent and childproof to (a)
slow the flow of winter torrents and (b) create standing water in small ponds
to attract wildlife including bats
Coppice a third coupe in winter 2015-16, from this year’s coupe
up to the top. Start a bit earlier, say
in October, to get it done in time. Wood
to be used on site for steps, path edging, hedging stakes and hetherings, and
material also cut with a view to sale of bean poles, plant stakes and maybe
some pea-sticks. Larger wood for
firewood. Some left as log piles and
brash piles or dead hedging. Principal
purpose is to enhance habitat.
Lay another 25m or so of hedge on the other side of the
entrance in February. Liaise with
allotment holders to make sure they are happy about the operation including
access on their side of the hedge. We
don’t require their assistance this year until we are more expert.
Trees: safety & thinning
Continue monthly monitoring of trees, as well as other
potential hazards, from a safety point of view.
Fell some more trees to re-space them, concentrating mostly on
the ash. This will provide material for
e.g. seating or firewood, and will allow the remaining trees to grow
better. Currently much of the woodland
contains trees with narrow drawn-up crowns because they are too close together, and it is rather dark, which inhibits the
development of a varied ground flora.
Dawn Chorus Walk: probably have a fifth one in late April
Owl Prowl or Bat Walk:
this was previously arranged as part of the south Glos discover Festival
but they are hoping for something new and innovative. Hmmmm.
Cultural events? Could
we host an Arts Festival Event?
Fires in the woodland are a threat to tree health. We could consider building a campfire site
with young people in mind in places without trees such as the Viewpoint or the
Cowshed. Would they use them or do they
prefer their own dens? Would we provide
firewood to stop them hacking bits off trees or using our wooden installations
Monitoring of wildlife
Birds are still being monitored monthly by Rob Collis
Bristol Naturalists will conduct another invertebrate survey in
2016 or 2017
Flowering plants should be monitored again following the
comprehensive survey by Allan Burberry and Cynthia Davis in 2012.
Action plan: This is
a supplement updating the previous action plan dated 31st March 2014