Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Abrahams Wood, Boars Hill, 7th December 2013

This Saturday's venue was Abrahams Wood, Boars Hill, on  Oxford Preservation Trust land.

The site has become one of our favourites; not just for the lovely view over the dreaming spires of Oxford, but also due to the fact that being a smallish wood, a limited work force can achieve quite a lot in a morning's session.

Our main effort is usually to keep down the non-indigenous plants that have invaded the area, allowing the light to get through so native shrubs such as hazel and holly can grow.

Invasive bamboo and laurel have unfortunately become rather established in Abrahams Wood. However, if the laurel shrubs in particular can be tackled before they grow too big, they can be kept under control fairly easily.  It is possible to get a bow saw through their relatively soft limbs, and log habitat piles can then be created with the cut wood.  These piles also serve as a great indication of our efforts at the end of the day!

It was pleasing to see that our previous work of building barriers to stop deer stripping native tree saplings, seems to have done the job.  Earlier in the year we constructed willow 'doughnuts' around young trees using coppiced willow and also created a large continuous waist high fence of cut branches, stretching across the wood for this purpose.

By the end of the session and with a well earned refreshment break of seasonal Stollen cake plus home made chocolate cheese cake, we were very satisfied with our efforts.

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