Wiltshire West Team
JBW - Nov. Newsletter
Jubilee Wood – November Newsletter
What a strange year this has been, not least in respect of the weather and its effect on our young trees. The very late frost was a severe set back for some of our wild cherries and especially for the walnuts but, as with so much in nature, everything seems to have come bouncing back despite weeks of drought and high temperatures and what a reward we have had this autumn with such splendid, long lasting colours.
The one thing that has done really well all year is the grass and the undergrowth, which has grown with such vigour that we have had to go back to cutting under the trees over the whole site or risk the trees being overwhelmed by an impenetrable jungle. So much for our plans for a three-year cycle of cutting one third a year! Re-wilding sounds great when you read about it but has turned out to be somewhat different in practice. Hopefully, it won’t be long before the trees form a dense enough canopy to do the job for us.
Thanks to some really hard work by our maintenance team, our toilets and centre passed a stringent Covid 19 Risk Assessment and we were able to re-open for small, socially distanced groups for day and evening visits and we have welcomed Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, members of the Youth Adventure Trust and our old, or should I say, young, friends from Wally’s Nursery School who come out to enjoy the fresh air, stamping in puddles and generally having the time of their lives in heat and cold, rain and shine.
The Scouts had some exciting night adventures planned for the next few weeks but, sadly, the reimposition of national restrictions meant that these could not go ahead it is back to “virtual” scouting using Zoom. Such a disappointment for the children and for the leaders that have spent time organising these events and making sure that they are safe. Covid-19 has meant that we have not been able to help as much as we would like in Biss Wood but we did manage to cut and rake one of the large glades, so hopefully we will be rewarded with another stunning display of primroses and bluebells when the time comes.
Our plans to expand our woodland into three surrounding fields are slowly gaining momentum and we have made an initial application to the Forestry Commission for what is called a Woodland Creation Planning Grant which will hopefully open the door to a complicated three-stage process ultimately leading to a grant to cover the cost of the 25,000 trees that we hope to plant, tubes and stakes and fencing and a contribution towards annual maintenance. If we succeed with the application, “all” that we would then need to do is raise the money to buy the land – watch this space! There are more details about this exciting project elsewhere on this web-site so that you can see why we want to do our bit to help fight climate change, and our Business Plan shows what is proposed and how much it will cost.
Lastly, we are still hoping to recruit members to join our maintenance team as well as someone to survey and record how well we are doing in increasing biodiversity on a regular basis. We still have plenty of free willow wands available (on a “pick your own” basis of course).