Monday, 23 November 2015

Cleaning, Thinning and Winching

Last weekend we spent time clearing litter from the Presthope car park and the Presthope trail walk. The visitor experience always should begin in the car park, so the appearance of these sites is very important and regular maintenance is essential.

We also went around Much Wenlock car park and Wenlock and thoroughly cleaned the Amiga signs, notice boards and road signs, which were looking grubby and needed a thorough clean. Again, we did this to maintain the appearance of the site and also to make sure it is obvious to ‘passers-by’ in cars where the National Trust Much Wenlock car park is, as it wasn’t very clear.

Cleaning the road signs in Much Wenlock

‘Many hands make light work’
Recently on Wenlock Edge a lot of thinning and winching has been taking place, with lots more planned throughout the winter. There has been extensive thinning at Longville Coppice, Harley bank and Smokey Hole, where there is a mixture of beech, sycamore, ash and hazel.

Working alongside the contactors and with volunteer Pete Hampton, we have been manually pulling, and using the tractor mounted winch, large amounts of felled wood down the steep and slippery slopes. We dragged the lengths down to the pathway below, cut them into 3m sections and stacked them into piles ready for collection by the forwarder to be sold as firewood.

Thinning is necessary to create space for remaining trees and to let light in to the woodland floor; this is done by selecting the healthiest trees to stay and marking the poor quality trees to be felled. A tree is classed as poor quality if it is forked, damaged, twisted or leaning – the wood will be sold to people locally to use as fuel. Other benefits from thinning are an increase in ground flora, increase biodiversity of flora and fauna and create a sustainable income.

Glynn (one of the contractors) cutting the logs into 3m sections

Pete (one of the volunteers) putting the cut logs into piles

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