…Where to start!

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What a busy month it’s been…

There’s been so much activity in Northwood I’ve barely had a moment to sit down in the office and update you all about it.

Over the course of 4 days (and several minibus trips) we’ve had the entire Year 3 and Year 4 of Yapton Primary School (about 90 pupils) out planting two new tree clumps in our War Ag. 3 and 4 fields. This makes a total for 4 clumps in these fields now, each consisting of 200-250 trees. Once these pockets of woodland start growing, they will play an important role in the movement of wildlife, acting as natural stepping stones and wildlife corridors from one wooded area to another.

In the short time they had, Yapton Primary worked their socks off and planted a total of 450 trees including species such as oak, beech, field maple and whitebeam. I was also blown away by their knowledge of nature and woodlands – well done guys.

Hot chocolates all round

We also had the pleasure of seeing RSPB Pagham Seals again for their annual trip to Northwood. This year they wanted to get stuck into some practical work to help the project and boy did they get stuck in! In just one afternoon we managed to coppice 40 meters of hedgerow and then lay the brash over the top like dead hedging to limit the browsing of new shoots by deer.  Coppicing involves rejuvenating hedging by cutting it down near to ground level, encouraging vigorous regrowth and the return of a thicker and healthier hedgerow. Thanks to the group/leaders and to their parents/carers for joining in too.

Good job done!

The Archives Team from West Sussex Records Office joined us for a morning of tree planting over in the War Ag. 3 fields. This was a particularly special day as the team wanted to plant up an area in memory of a close friend and colleague who had recently passed away. I learnt that this friend was fond of nature and the outdoors so this session was especially fitting. The sun even came out for us and I saw my first honey bee of the year. Over 70 trees were planted, mostly beech and I look forward to seeing the team again later this year for a spot of after tree care.

And finally, we have several wooden tree guard to construct this year for our wood pasture area in War Ag 1. 14 already stand tall from last year’s hard work but 16 more need to go in this year. To kick start this year’s challenge we held a South Downs National Trust Ranger Day where Rangers and Volunteers from different sites came down to help us. We had Woolbeding, Black Down and Birling Gap make it over and together we constructed 6 guards. There was also a BBQ lunch midway just to keep everyone’s strength up! Thanks to all the teams for giving their time to the project and for helping us get closer to our year total.

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