Earlier in the year we removed old barbed wire stock fencing that ran along one of Northwood’s bridleways. By removing this fence we were able to widen the verge and improve its condition by going back this week and cutting away all the encroaching brambles. Hopefully with a few more cuts we’ll start to see some more life in this newly established ‘green corridor’. With sunlight and space, wildflowers will soon appear along with pollinating insects and possibly even small mammals and reptiles.
To help us monitor our Northwood reptiles, we have corrugated tin sheets placed in various locations on site. During the months of March to October we’ll be regularly monitoring what’s hiding underneath them and sending our results to the National Amphibian & Reptile Recording Scheme. This week we tidied around the tins, clearing away any overgrown vegetation so tins are easily accessible with minimal disturbance to what’s underneath. Reptiles like these tins because they warm up during the day and create the ideal basking conditions. In previous surveys we’ve recorded slow worm, adder and even a weasel!
Also this week we had our monthly Northwood Task Day. The rain held off and we planted an amazing 60 meters of hedgerow including species such as field maple, hazel, spindle, hawthorn, blackthorn and dogwood. Hedgerows are such a vital year-round habitat in the countryside, from protecting nesting song birds in the spring to providing small mammals with berries in the autumn.