Rhododen-gone

Another Wednesday, another volunteer day done and dusted! Meeting Tim the Ranger at 10 am we headed to a patch of woodland rarely visited – along Rivacre Road, just to the side of the old water tower, an area very over grown with Rhododendron bushes.

Problems With Rhododendron

Tim the Ranger explained today that we were clearing the Rhododendron because it makes the soil more acidic through the huge amount of leaf litter it creates. The resulting acidity doesn’t sit well with our native woodland species. The trees themselves grow quite big, spreading out laterally covering a large area, further reducing opportunities for more natural flora. As native plants die off, fauna reliant on them also leave the area or become isolated in patches. This all just lets the Rhododendron spread further, so while it might produce lovely flowers, it needs careful cultivation.

The volunteers worked very hard today though, clearing an absolutely huge area. We piled them up so there was plenty of new habitable areas for mice, hedgehogs and other ground dwelling fauna. Although the leaves will rot into the soil eventually and provide the acidity we don’t want, ultimately the problem is stemmed and the extra habitats are a boon 🙂

Before

Before

After

After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The after shot is just the area I was working on with Tim, Danielle and Jen. Terry, Jean and Bill worked extremely well and made some dramatic forays to the left side.

Cheshire Wildlife Trust helps control Dogwood (Cornus Sanguinea)

Wildlife Trust help control local Dogwood

Wildlife Trust help control local Dogwood


Many thanks to the Wildlife trust who have helped take care of the Dogwood growth in the Rivacre Valley recently.

dogwoodDogwood can be a valued shrub and can be used to quite good effect as a landscaping tree. You will most likely have seen it regularly as you walk around – it has red twigs and produces clusters of black berries, which are a hit with the birds.

Overcrowding
Unfortunately Dogwood can also spread quite quickly and dominates an area, inhibiting ground flora from growing. The wildlife Trust targeted the area near a pine tree not far from the Rangers Hut last Wednesday (Sept 14th 2016) during one of the regular events held with the Ranger.

How can I help?
Tim the Ranger holds events roughly every two weeks. Anyone can come along and join in, learning a few things along the way. The next one will be on Wednesday the 12th of October 2016. Find further information about volunteer days on the Volunteer page or on the link below.

Further information
Volunteering with The Ranger
General Dogwood Information