Cothill Fen, 25th April 2015

A return to Cothill and the conditions were somewhat milder than on our last visit here!  Upon arrival, we met with Judy Webb from Natural England and transported our tools down the path to the site before receiving instructions on the morning's activities.  A new gate had been fitted at the entrance making site access somewhat easier than previously.

The tasks were a continuation of our previous work at the fen - raking up cut reeds and stacking them into piles and cutting and removing trees from the perimeter of the site that have begun to encroach upon the wetland.  In addition there were some new sprouts from the cut trees to attend to - all necessary work to maintain this rare habitat.

While we were busy raking, cutting and stacking, Judy set about recording species around the site and conducting her survey work.  A number of plants and insects were noted and we were careful to work around the spots where the rarest and most unique of these were present.

Following the tea break, we were taken on a guided tour of the adjacent wood to see the wonderful bluebells that were in full flower.  Some interesting information about the ecology of the site was provided, including the possible threat it faces in the near future from nearby industrial development.

We continued our work following the intermission and further steady progress was made. Another successful session!

Work begins...

Dieuwke raking.

Refreshments are served.

A pile of rakings and cuttings.

A carpet of bluebells.

While bluebells prefer a slightly acidic soil, the dog's mercury plant thrives in more alkaline conditions. 

A woodland tour.

Back to work.

Kevin cuts back some tree growth by the pond area.

Some of the insects collected by Judy.

Marsh Lousewort.

Marsh Valerian.

The state of play at the end of the session.


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