West Wickham Commons February Newsletter

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21st January 2022
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10th March 2022
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February 2022
Welcome to the West Wickham Commons Newsletter covering West Wickham Common and Spring Park
Volunteer dates for the diary

Friday 25 February 10am – 3.30pm – Holly clearance – Meeting at the West Wickham Common car park 

Hedgelaying at Spring Park

The volunteers got off to a flying with the first task of 2022 laying a section of hedge in the Spring Park meadow. Sections of hedge are managed on rotation – a management solution that promotes new growth and maintains old hedges. This creates a living fence that grows thicker with age and supports a vast amount of wildlife. A whole array of meadow and woodland creatures use the hedge to gather food, move undetected and shelter from predators. 

Armed with bowsaws, loppers and billhooks, the volunteers helped to prepare the hedge by removing side branches from each stem before cutting into the stems just above ground level and then bending them over. Working along the hedge, hazel stakes were then hammered into the ground and bound with binders to give structure and to finish off the hedge in what is called ‘South of England style’. Not all hedges are laid in this particular fashion; across the UK there are many differing styles of hedge, hedgelaying techniques and tools reflecting the predominant types of farming that took place in these areas. It was a great few days and everyone certainly enjoyed practicing this traditional countryside craft!

Signs of things to come 

The first wildflowers of the year lift our spirits with their promise of spring, also providing a vital source of nectar and pollen for any bees and butterflies that are early to emerge, tempted by late winter sun. Even in the late winter months when the landscape can still appear a barren, signs of new life are appearing and it can be a surprisingly good season to spot winter wildflowers. Keep an eye out for sweet violet, snowdrops and lesser celandine in the woods at Spring Park, all indicators of brighter days ahead.

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 The City of London Corporation has seven green spaces in South London and Surrey covered by three charities: Ashtead Common, Coulsdon Commons and West Wickham Commons. Each charity has its own Newsletter and you can now:
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