Cople Wood

Spring 2017

 

 

During the winter we had several tasks in the wood with lots of help from our volunteers. We have continued to thin out areas of the wood to allow the tree more room to grow and to let more light in so as to encourage a field layer to develop with flowers and grasses; this will in turn benefit wildlife in the wood.

 

The rides have also been widened again and have been ‘scalloped’ along the edges (irregular bays cut into the wood along the ride edges). This also lets in more light, keeps the paths more open and drier and increases the area of warm, sheltered, sunny spots in the wood so benefiting butterflies, other insects, flowers and birds.

 

All the cut material has been either stacked to make habitat for wildlife or burnt on our one fire spot in the wood.

 

The 30 bird boxes have been cleaned and any fallen ones repaired and put back up on the trees. Last year Great Tits, Blue Tits, Robins and Wrens used to the boxes to nest in.

 

The contractors spent two days in the wood in February and March strimming and flailing the rides and scallops to remove any cut stumps and regrowth ready for mowing later in the year.

 

During the summer the rides will be cut three times to keep the paths open and stop any suckers from regrowing and the final cut will also cut the scallops to remove any regrowth. Apart from that work stops in the wood over the summer to give the birds a chance to nest and for people to enjoy the wood.

 

More people are using the wood and we have received several positive comments as to how nice the wood is looking; ‘more open, sunny and welcoming’.

 

A ‘No Parking’ sign has been put up on the gate to the Water End entrance to enable people to access the bridleway and to allow contractors to enter the wood, when needed.

 

We will start work again in October 2017.

 

Thanks go to Cople Parish Council for their support with this project.

 

Steve Halton

 

*************************************************************************************************************************

 

About Cople Wood

 

Cople Millennium Wood is a small (8 acre /3ha) woodland situated to the south of the village of Cople and situated adjacent to Water End, a hamlet of Cople. The site grid reference is TL103476. The area is a rural, ex-farmland and has scattered cottage to the east and a mix of arable and horse paddocks elsewhere. There are views to the west of Cardington Airship Sheds and south to the wooded Greensand Ridge. 

 

The wood was planted in the winter of 1998/99 by local people and the Woodland Trust on a former arable field and is a mix of native trees such as wild cherry, hazel, silver birch, oak and ash with a small orchard in the south-west corner. The wood is now run by Cople Parish Council, on a lease from the Woodland Trust and the vision for the wood is to run a vibrant community partnership-led woodland project with provision made to allow both people and wildlife to benefit from, and enjoy, the woodland and its varying habitats. Areas of maturing, semi-natural woodland with carpets of native woodland plants and a varied structure of trees interspersed with wide, scalloped rides and glades will enrich the area with a great diversity of age ranges, management methods and structures which will enable a wide range of habitats to be enjoyed by all. Wide woodland rides, glades and areas of coppice will add to the diversity and people will be able to enjoy the woodland diversity in all forms of quiet contemplation. 

 

The wood has open access for walkers throughout the year and is crossed by a public footpath runs along the outside of the southern and western boundaries and a further one which runs NW to SE through the centre of the site as well as a network of mown rides throughout the wood. 

 

To date, 58 plants, 13 fungi and 48 birds have been recorded in the wood.

 

Between October and March regular working parties are held in the wood and are a good opportunity to manage the wood, have an occasional bonfire, get fit and meet friends from the village. 

 

To find out more and to get involved, please contact: Steve Halton, Email: stevehalton@gmail.com