I hope everyone is keeping safe and well. Yesterday I used my daily exercise allowance to visit the Lagoon and Banstead Wood pond. There were no amphibians visible in the Lagoon, although there was frogspawn a little while ago. At the moment, the most visible signs of life are diving beetles. The plant life is waking up, especially on the sloping banks, after benefiting from all the rain we've had. And I nearly trod on a Peacock that was sunning itself near the drain pipe.
As you can see from the photo, much of the Banstead Wood pond has been taken over by vegetation but there was one clump of frogspawn visible. Some toads were still quietly chirruping, although there was no sign of spawn, and two were seen leaving the overgrown side of the pond.
Lastly, I must report a dangerously overhanging tree on the main path to the pond (pic below). Let's hope it won't require the Beast before our return.
The 'final' task?
Many thanks to Andy for organising a pleasant last task for the WoodChips before lock down. Today the volunteers were out in the sunshine identifying and measuring some of the veteran oaks, beeches and chestnuts in Banstead Woods. These included an impressive old pedunculate oak that had managed to escape our attention before. Tree height, diameter and OS grid references were surveyed and recorded for RBBC.
Above, the team demonstrate one way to calculate the size of a tree. This one is eight vols (and one dog) long.
Besides Ordnance Survey grid refs, we experimented with the location app what3words and have included a couple which show the location of the trees in the pics below. You can find these trees for yourself using the free what3words phone app, which plots their positions on a map and guides you to their location.
Ideal fun while you're isolating!
The task for Tuesday 17 March will go ahead, but it will be the final task for the immediate future due to the Corona Virus outbreak and Government restrictions. Please keep in touch, and we'll look forward to a resumption of our activities... whenever that might be.
Tuesday 17 March
On Tuesday we will commence the Veteran Tree Survey at Banstead Wood. Meet at the Park Farm car park at 10:00hrs.
Thursday 12 March
The tasks for Thursday are to complete the Laurel removal; to remove some windblown trees and to complete the coppicing for this spring. Meet at the Park Farm car park at 10:00hrs.
Tuesday 10 March
On Tuesday we will remove a patch of Laurel and continue with the coppicing at Banstead Wood. Meet at the Park Farm car park at 10:00hrs.
As always, if the weather is inclement, I will cancel the task by 09:00hrs by email.
Despite the pitiless weather, spring is moving forward. Besides the frog spawn seen at the Banstead Woods pond, there are now around nine clumps of the stuff at the Lagoon. And the daisies pictured below were providing food for various insects (including lots of large bumblebees) in the wildflower meadow beside the Lagoon. Although these plants are of similar size and growing in the same patch, the flowers and leaves are different, with one having a red spot in the middle of the flower. Anyone know which these are?
Thursday 5 March
We will split the group, with one gang continuing with the coppicing and the second gang removing/stacking some laurel. Meet at the Park Farm car park at 10:00hrs.