Wurthymp Wood is a 17 acre / 6.9 hectare plot, forming part of a mixed woodland 30 acre farmland project planted by others in 2006.
The woodland is privately owned and funded and is run on a break-even sustainable basis, resources are shared with the Meadowcopse Orchard Project a few miles to the north.
The primary objectives are mixed:-
a, Wildlife habitat conservation (trees, grassland and ponds).
b, Rotational coppice woodland management (thinning, regeneration, rural craft materials and firewood).
c, Selective long-term forestry tree management (coppice with selected standard trees left long-term).
d, Community, educational and research engagement, for the promotion and understanding of wildlife and sustainable conservation in a wider landscape context.
Thursday, 12 July 2018
Friday, 29 June 2018
Monday, 5 February 2018
I would be grateful, if the person in the village making unfounded gossip about myself, my property, its boundaries and neighbours would kindly stop.
For the avoidance of doubt, I have no business connections to anybody else.
(Such issues have been raised before and cordially addressed with a hosted visit by a small number of local residents).
I'm not sure of the motives of someone to make things up and present such things as fact to others, other than being misguided as well as somewhat discourteous. At this stage I don't consider it malicious.
I will however politely address any issues that have spread and arisen from conversations that have taken place, so that recipients have the chance of a balanced and truthful view.
If the originator wishes to discuss on here, by all means...
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
A little behind with Blog updates - shorter updates of activities and photos from the woods, together with links to similar activities elsewhere are on the @WurthympWood Twitter feed...
Winter suddenly appeared after a 'damp' mild couple of months (Two years ago, winter was almost unworkable due to saturated ground from November to February and having to leave vehicles at the gateway. The mild damp isn't great for plant and tree health with risks from pathogens).
Both here and at the Orchard Project I look after, a cold spell at the end of September seemed to start the autumn / winter season, but then a relatively mild spell gave opportunity for plants to remain in leaf or even re-bud - challenging for when the frost arrives...
Saturday, 30 September 2017
Wednesday, 30 August 2017
A couple of away-days too, particularly facilitated by Smallwoods at Ironbridge / Coalbrookdale, as well as attending a couple of country shows that have a reasonable environmental aspect and a return visit to the Bulworthy Project woodland in Devon.
Back in the woods, a bit of species and wildlife spotting and some preparations prior to the reintroduction of seasonal grazing in a couple of areas.
Quite a few dragon and damsel flies around this last month, but only managed to photograph what i think is a Red Darter...
Some steady work on the Public Footpath that passes from Worthenbury to Threapwood through the woods - after some positive dialogue with the Council Rights of Way Officer, who was looking at issues elsewhere in the village.
A narrow wooden bridge over the central ditch was getting a bit dilapidated and slippery in the winter months.
Longer term plans are to mow the path at a wider width between the trees, together with coppiced / shrub layer sides for greater light and shade variation and ultimately a wider range of species biodiversity.
To make access safer and to be able to pass through with the mower more easily, a culvert for the ditch has been put in place of the narrow wooden bridge.
Ditch culvert prior to backfill
Sadly a few visitors along the Public Footpath have not been too respectful of their surroundings...
The plastic packaging strip in the photo below, is about the most damaging litter for wildlife that can be left lying around. Too easy for small mammals and birds to get trapped, but not easy to get out of.
A couple of folk have been wandering off the path too.
The woodland is private land with no concessionary access (unless by prior arrangement).
A couple of times dog walkers have been asked to put their dogs on a lead whilst away from the path. I won't accept "Oh, they are alright." They aren't!
They should be under close control along the path and preferably on a lead when seasonal grazing livestock are on site. Importantly, there are a colony of hares in the woodland and it is mainly for this reason people are respectfully requested to keep to the Public Footpath and their dogs under control.
One of the hares on the woodland margins.
With the risk of coming across all "Get orff my laaand..." Someone has been practicing bushcraft skills in the woods. Great that youngsters are out and about in the natural environment, but some discussion beforehand would have been appropriate before building a den.
A little annoying that some fencing materials had been used from in the middle of a job, but also it has been put up right in the middle of an Ash Die back disease area. Although this tree disease is mainly spread by spores airborne, trampling through the fallen leaves increases the risk of spread - particularly to other woodlands via footwear.
People should ask before wandering in and doing stuff like this.
Quite a few Common Blue butterflies around earlier in August.
A proportion of the woods is managed as traditional grassland / meadow for biodiversity (11 years ago it was open fields before the trees were planted).
Mowing for hay is helping re-establish grassland plant diversity.
Noticeable are knapweed, birdsfoot trefoil, cuckoo flower, vetch and cowslips.
Thanks to the neighbour for doing the mowing and putting the traditional baler to work as part of productive management of the grass / meadow areas.
Birch coppice from the woodland edges is regenerating after its first cut (approx every fifth tree on a yearly basis.
Some of the willows have been pollarded at head height and the first large coppice area has regenerated nicely with multiple stems between 1 to 2 metres in the first season.
Some ground work along the footpath has disturbed some dormant seeds with field pansy Viola arvensis appearing. The extra light from selective tree thinning along the footpath is part of a longer term programme to plant more appropriate local / native wild flowers.
One curiosity is this bumble bee - I'm told it is a white tail bee, but these usually have a yellow middle stripe.
Grey squirrel damage is still a problem, particularly with the willows at height - although the photo is one of the Hornbeam treas from ground level (since coppiced).
Badgers have left a few tracks, but no obvious signs of a sett (guessing the ground conditions are too wet).
Owls (Tawny and Barn) frequent the woodland and the long stretch of footpath with grassy edges give a good foraging ground.
The area is also good for bats to swoop through.
The photo is of three owlets along the footpath earlier in the year.
Sunday, 2 April 2017
Coppice regrowth has begun in a small area selectively felled (this has been done to vary the age and height profile of a relatively uniform young woodland, as well to create sustainable multiple trunk stems to rework several years later.
There are around 530 birch trees on the plot, mainly planted in a single row around the track edges.
Footpath edge habitat enhancement (preparations) are ongoing. This is to make the Public Footpath more obvious and usuable throughout the year.
Ash Die Back finally discovered by visual inspection. Classic symptoms and confirmed with dialogue and a sample sent to Forest Research as part of their monitoring scheme.