Well, here we are into autumn! There has definitely been a drop in the air temperature, plus rain showers since Sept 1st, the first meteorological day of autumn, but how will it progress? Will we experience Keats’:- “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;”?? Already trees are turning into their autumn colours; the horse chestnut in particular is already shedding leaves and conkers, which I read somewhere could be the effect of a non-fatal disease.
Writing this in early September the wood is still a pleasant to walk in with firm dry paths and the colouring leaves. Regular walkers will notice more open spaces in the millennium area as we continue to thin out the overcrowded birch. We continue to clear the glades on the Crater track and Styron way. These more open spaces increase low ground cover, grasses and flowers, which attract insects and birds. During our next working party we plan to clear the bramble from the breathing places area in line with the initial purpose of having an area for community use, with improved biodiversity and wildlife habitats. Can we have an area for community use along with wildlife habitats? Recently I read or heard someone say that wildlife can live alongside us, but can we live alongside wildlife? We should try by maintaining suitable habitat wherever we can. The wood brings joy to many, not purely because of the variety of trees, but also through bird song and the sightings of wild birds and animals.
The next planned outing is to Rodley Nature Reserve on Saturday 6th October. There is a meeting in the Reading Room on the 7th November when Amy-Jane Beer will be giving an illustrated presentation on the topic, ”Giving the Wild a Voice: reporting, celebrating and fighting for Nature.”
The next working parties are Saturdays 13th Oct. 3rd Nov. & 8th Dec. We welcome anyone who enjoys the wood and is willing to help look after it. Meet at 10am by the notice board at the Intake Lane entrance to the wood.