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Welcome to the West Wickham Commons Newsletter covering West Wickham Common and Spring Park.
|Volunteer dates for the diary
Friday 25 March 10am – 3.30pm – Chestnut post and rail fence repairs at Spring Park.
Meet at the Spring Park Office
Rotary club help plant hazel to boost the woodland understory at Spring Park
In February, members from the local Rotary club were busy planting hazel whips in the woodland at Spring Park.
Hazel is an understory tree that adds structure to the woodland and, when coppiced, can provide benefits to wildlife
and a continuous supply of hazel poles, useful as supportive stakes in headgelaying.
Right now, when there are no leaves on the tree, hazel can be identified by the long yellow male catkins that hang
downwards from the plant and, if you look closely, intricate red female flowers – a good sign that spring is on its way!
A busy time for rangers as they clear up after Storm Eunice
February was a wild and windy month and we have only just about seen the weather starting to calm after a barrage
of winter storms. With record-breaking gusts in England, we anticipated a high amount of damage to the woodland
areas at Spring Park and West Wickham Common. Rangers surveyed the sites after the storms and found that
several trees were damaged and brought down by the heavy gusts, particularly from Storm Eunice. Thankfully the
damage was less than we feared; in the wake of the storms it was all-hands-on-deck for the rangers who were able
to clear much of the damaged trees and reopen paths that had become blocked. There is still some minor tree safety
work to do and the rangers, with the help of tree surgeons, will be busy in March to finish the clear up.
Volunteers push back holly to clear the way for wildlife
The second volunteer task for the year was on West Wickham Common and focused on clearing a large chunk
of mature holly on the Common. Dense growing holly blocks light from reaching the woodland floor, suppressing
the growth of trees and less common plants. With little growing in the shade, holly on the Common is managed
by cutting sections back in a bid to boost biodiversity. Within just a short space of time, thanks to the efforts of
the volunteers, the light levels were noticeably different and, once spring arrives, different plants, insects, birds
and mammals will soon be able to utilise this area of woodland and scrub.
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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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