SACWG has established a Strettons Community Tree Planting Project, in partnership with the National Trust and with a focus on engaging the local community. The National Trust have allocated an ancient woodland site within Batch Valley (including Park Coppice) for the project.
The project will look to plant a mixture of native woodland species which will be attractive to local wildlife. The project will also evaluate the role of tree planting as a means of controlling bracken.
In support of the project, an application has been made by the National Trust to Natural England to cover the cost of fencing, gates and tree planting. Currently this proposal includes costings for 700 m of fencing, 2 field gates, 1700 trees, 30 standard trees and an element for pond restoration. The Natural England proposal will be in the region of £10,000.
SACWG has committed to provide volunteers to lead the community in site preparation (bracken bashing!), tree planting and surveying activities.
SACWG will conduct survey work both before and continually after the creation of the woodland habitat to evaluate changes in flora and fauna diversity.
Planting trees in the Batch Valley (March, 2016)
To date community activities have include a bracken bashing day at the planting site and a bat and bird box making day at Womerton Farm (see images below).
The latter was generously supported by Stretton Focus through their Community Award scheme. More than 20 adults and 30 children turned up throughout the day to build and decorate all manner of nest box for our local wildlife.
The children were given the opportunity to make a nest box from scratch with many showing great skill at hammering in the nails and drilling out the entry holes. These nest boxes will be placed in gardens and fields across the Strettons Community Tree Planting Project area and will then be monitored to see who moves in.
The next scheduled event will be bracken bashing at the planting site. For further details on this project and how to help, please contact Dr Penny Bienz, (firstname.lastname@example.org).