This winter we’ve already been busy at lots of different sites, working on many different projects – all to help improve biodiversity, public access and our own health and wellbeing.
Before Christmas, we were removing invasive sycamore trees from Happy Valley in Cromer, alongside the NNDC rangers, who told us of future plans to re-establish a wildflower meadow on this site, which is already home to fascinating clifftop and grassland wildflower species.
Gorse and birch were both tackled during December; the Workout volunteers helped to clear part of the dry heathland area of Beeston Common, improving the site’s rich biodiversity of flora and fauna.
The Workout Group’s collective muscle-power has recently uncovered an (almost) lost WWII pillbox at Salthouse Heath, from where it lay beneath decades of gorse.
Throughout the winter at Sheringham Park we’ve been helping the National Trust Friday Group volunteers to cut back the significant growth of Rhododendron ponticum (what else?) which was encroaching on the path through the woodland. I think this will keep us all busy for some time yet…
In the new year we enjoyed a winter tree id walk through Warren Woods in Cromer, finding all sorts of trees, such as hazel, ash, birch, oak and beech, and learning to id them from buds and twigs alone – pretty impressive stuff! We’ve created a kingfisher bank by the banks of the River Mun, helping the Norfolk Rivers Trust and local volunteers in their mission to turn a woodland into a brand new nature reserve for the local community.
On a chilly January afternoon at Kelling Heath the Workout Group were hard at work, removing young, invasive pines from this SSSI site. The heathland here is a typical dry, acid heath, dominated by heather and gorse, with areas of mixed woodland; it is an important site for wildlife, including nightjars, whitethroats, tree pipits, lizards and adders – and hopefully our future tasks here will continue to aid their survival!