Badminton School helping to protect Troopers Hill
In May of 2012 Friends of Troopers Hill were contacted by Worldwide Volunteering http://www.wwv.org.uk/ asking whether we could offer any volunteering activities for up to 60 girls in 10 groups of 6. A few telephone calls and emails ensued and 4 our wonderful volunteer work party leaders said they they could arrange to be available during the week.
As a result 2 work party leaders (me and Kit) welcomed 9 girls from Badminton School plus two teachers to Troopers Hill on a hot, humid afternoon on Tuesday 4th September. After handing out gloves and passing round tools to carry, everyone walked to the top of the Hill to enjoy the views, hear a little about what makes Troopers Hill so special and the objectives of the afternoon's work.
Then Kit's team set to work cutting back scrub that was getting out of control near an area of spoil left over from the time when Troopers Hill was mined for coal. You can see the girls standing on the coal spoil.
Bramble, sycamore, silver birch, oak and holm oak made up the majority of the invasive species that if left to grow would overshadow and kill the special acid soil based plants and grasses that make Trooper Hill such a special habitat and led to it being designated a Local Nature Reserve.
Although it was very hard work smiles were in evidence.
This photo gives an impression of the heat of the day.
Bramble is being removed here.
It always amazes people that over 20 acres of acid heathland can be found in the middle of a city,
Meanwhile I took a smaller group on a walkabout cutting saplings wherever we found them. We found hawthorn above the gulley.
and oak saplings on the way down towards Greendown.
We encountered some of the local wildlife during our travels, mainly ants and spiders, which caused a few squeaks among the workers, who were not totally convinced by my reassurance that there are no indigenous poisonous species of spider in the UK. Some of the spiders were particularly decorative. We also seem to have a higher number of slugs out and about at the moment.
After two hours the two parties joined up to hide all evidence of the work party, leaving the Hill looking untouched but much clearer of scrub than two and a half hours earlier.
Very many thanks to the pupils and teachers of Badminton School. I hope we will see them on Troopers Hill in the future.