The last two work parties (Sunday and Wednesday) involved more ride clearance under the high voltage power lines. When the spring sunshine reaches the bare ground we've uncovered it will spark the germination of wildflowers that will provide a rich nectar source for invertebrates such as the silver-washed fritillary and the rare fringe-horned mason bee; this solitary bee is only found at a handful of sites in the south of England. It's always encouraging to know that the hard work put in by our volunteers has a direct and significant impact on such scarce species as this.
The beautiful architecture of the previous weeks' brash piles diminished slightly as the desire to clear the ride more quickly took over, as you can see from the photograph below...
Variety in all forms should be encouraged in nature conservation; just as the rides provide a variation in habitat within a woodland, so differences in the design of brash piles provide another layer variety. It is likely that the differences between these brash piles will mean a greater variety of wildlife will be attracted to the ride, contributing to greater species diversity, which is essentially the goal of conservation! There really is no right or wrong way to do something in a nature reserve.
So again, we thank our diverse group of volunteers for their dedication to improving the diversity of the reserve.
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