Lloyds Bank volunteer work party on Troopers Hill
22 May 2014
A huge thank you to 10 volunteers from Lloyds Bank who came to Troopers Hill for a volunteer work day on Thursday 22nd May. Also much gratitude to the Troopers Hill work party leaders, Chris, David, Kit and Rob who took time off work and re-arranged schedules to make this happen.
Well done Mark at Lloyds Bank for doing all the co-ordinating of his colleagues. Everyone found their way to the site and presented us with the small amount of paperwork needed before a work party.
All work done on Troopers Hill follows the Managment Plan so the plan for the day was
We also had tasks to meet the vision of the management plan:
"To enhance the use of the site for recreation by the local community while protecting its natural beauty, rich bio-diversity, history and geology".
For the first two hours Chris managed a team of 5 in Compartment 9 cutting back scrub while Susan took a second team on a sapling hunt.
Chris's area really needed work. This was the area that was burnt in 2010. A lot of bramble had grown up and needed to be removed to restore the grassland. Even access to the area was blocked by bramble.. Much enthusiasm and energy over 2 hours did much to open up the area.
Susan's team, armed with bags, loppers, secateurs and a pruning saw made their way around the Hill taking out small seedling trees as they went.
The smallest trees sported two leaves and in some cases were able to be pulled up some with their seedling acorn still attached. The largest tree removed, an evergreen called a holm oak, was found at the top of the Hill.
Cuttings were put in large bags for the Community Park Keeper to remove. Thanks to this team's work the grassland is protected for a few more years. Troopers Hill's acid grassland and heathland is an important habitat and without management to keep the trees and scrub at bay this habitat would be lost.
The teams joined together for a group photo before swapping roles but this time with Rob and Kit as work party leaders.
Kit continued the sapling hunt with Chris's team and Rob took his group to take out scrub from above and in the gulley.
After a picnic lunch in Rob and Susan's garden it was back to work but this time working more on the "recreation by the local community" objective. Troopers Hill has a number of trails so we split in 4 groups; 3 groups were checking that the instructions for the 3 "fun learning" trails made sense and making sure with spades, loppers and damp cloths that the markers were visible the other group were checking that all the tree trail labels were in position and cutting back any obscuring growth growth. Notes have been made of a little re-wording needed on the brass trail.
With half an hour to go everyone, except one poor volunteer who had a dental appointment, joined together in Sally's Glade to take out more bramble and scrub with David's help and supervision.
Then it was farewell with our grateful thanks. We hope we will see them again.
If you are interested in volunteering on Troopers Hill Local Nature Reserve please visit http://www.troopers-hill.org.uk/volunteering/index.htm