Monday, 25 July 2016

More biomass

In addition to supplying all the wood fuel needs at Carding Mill Valley, Wenlock Edge has just supplied its first lorry load of wood for the new Attingham Park heating system, which is being installed for this winter. This lorry load is part of an annual commitment from Wenlock Edge which will supplement supplies from the Attingham estate. It is conifer which has been felled as part of a programme to restore ancient woodland sites to broadleaved woodland. Once at Attingham the wood will be stored for up to 2 years to dry out before being chipped and burnt instead of the current system which uses oil. This new system will help us reach targets to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Grassland monitoring

Over the last month volunteer Charlotte Huntley has been helping to plot transects in four grassland areas for future grassland monitoring. This involved creating a route for the volunteers to follow that was representative of the grassland and deciding where they should stop to record information. Volunteers will look for any negative indicators (such as nettles and docks), do a species count and measure the average sward height. These are rare habitats so it is important to monitor whether our management of the grasslands is successful, and to indicate where action might need to be taken.

Katy leaving!

Our placement student Katy has finished her placement with us and is returning to Harper Adams University to finish her degree. Katy has assisted with events, surveys and conservation work as well as leading on a variety of projects. She has been a valuable member of our team, is always smiling and we will be sad to see her go. Katy - Thank you for your time, effort and enthusiasm, we wish you all the best for the future.


Katy said: ‘I’d just like to thank everyone that I have encountered during my time at Wenlock Edge, for making it such an enjoyable year and a fantastic experience for me; especially to Kate and Al for their support and making it all the more special; I’m going to miss you all a lot!’

Thursday, 7 July 2016

National Meadows Day!

National Meadows Day was on 2nd July and to celebrate this we decided to provide a wild flower training day for our Wenlock Edge volunteers in our very own meadows!

Rob our wild flower expert for the day teaching us everything we need to know!

Rob Webster came along to lead the day for us and teach us everything we need to know about wild flowers.

We began on the verge outside the Much Wenlock car park where even in that small space there was an astonishing array of beautiful flowering pyramidal orchids and southern marsh orchids in amongst all the bright pink clovers.

Examining the wild flowers

We then moved into the meadow in the Much Wenlock car park to see what flowering plants we could try and identify and then finally finished up in Ballstone Quarry (both meadows with our lovely flock of Hebridean sheep in); and it was there we spotted a stunning viper's bugloss (which was a spectacle to see) and wild thyme!

Scattered across the meadows and reading our wild flower books

Viper's bugloss

We learnt to identify many of the flowering plants that thrive in the limestone grasslands on the Edge including; pyramidal orchids, common spotted orchids, eyebright, devil's bit scabious, agrimony, birds foot trefoil and many more.

Engrossed in identifying the wild flowers

After a lovely day exploring the meadows in the sun! 

The weather was glorious so we even had the pleasure of spotting about 14 ringlet butterflies, a small blue, 4 meadow browns, a common blue and a gorgeous large skipper.

The large skipper sunning itself on a devil's bit scabious