In 2019 we enriched the shallow end of the Lagoon beside Outwood Lane with a range of pond plants, a considerable success for local wildlife ever since. Today we extended this planting to 'green' the rest of the Lagoon, installing an additional 18 metres of pond plant matting along the remainder of the banks.
As in 2019, the pre-planted coir matting, in 2m x 1m strips, contains a mix of the following British native marginal plant species: Carex acutiformis (Lesser Pond Sedge) Juncus effusus (Soft Rush) Lythrum salicaria (Purple Loosestrife) Iris pseudacorus (Yellow Flag Iris) Caltha palustris (Marsh Marigold) Myosotis scorpioides (Water Forget Me Not) Ranunculus flammula (Lesser Spearwort) Alisma plantago-aquatica (Water Plantain) Mentha aquatica (Water Mint).
The biodegradable matting was laid half in the water and the other half secured to the bank with stones and sharpened sticks. The matting holds the plant roots in place until they become established. The Lagoon water level is currently much reduced due to the recent dry weather, so it may take a little longer for the plants to build up.
The matting was supplied by britishpondplants.co.uk. As a bonus, several newts and some Dragonfly and Damselfly nymphs survived the journey with the consignment. Big thanks to theDownlands Trust for providing the funds for this worthwhile conservation project. Graham Kenward
One of several newt stowaways found in the matting.
How the pond plant matting arrived.
18 metres of wet matting just about fits this car.
Pegging the matting to the bank.
Lagoon before planting, showing reduced water levels.
We are back with a bunch of volunteers keen to start the first jobs for the WoodChips in 2021.
Split into teams in line with C19 guidelines, one felled dying ash trees near a busy woodland path, while the other planted the remaining Crab Apple saplings from last year's new tree stock, kindly sponsored by the Downlands Trust. Eight trees were planted and protected in the large and small orchards in Banstead Wood. In addition, supporting props were added to two of the older trees that had developed a sideways list. The naturally forked props were recycled from Hazel coppiced last year. More dead and dying Ash was cleared in the woods on the next task day, despite friendly interruptions from families out for a stroll! Graham Kenward
Fruit tree propped by Hazel.
Brief encounter: Andy sets out the tasks.
Cutting a felled Ash into manageable chunks.
Three of the new Crab Apples planted in the Banstead Wood orchard.
We are a self-funded group of volunteers looking after our local countryside in Banstead Wood and Chipstead Valley. We extend a warm welcome to those who would like to help maintain this important green space for the benefit of everyone. Here you will find details of WoodChips weekly tasks and activities. Check back soon to see what we're up to!