Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve, near Yate and Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire.

The Nature Reserve is run by the Wapley Bushes Conservation Group, a small group of volunteers.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Just a few photos of buzzards over Wapley this morning - quite a spectacular sight!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Walking to Health walk

A "team photo" in the Upper Meadow.

Last week we had a great walk with the Walking to Health group. On a lovely sunny morning Tim and I took nearly 40 people on a tour of the Nature Reserve. We told them about the territorial rivalry between the rooks in the wood and the buzzards that nest down the lane.

While we were walking across the Common, someone spotted one buzzard, then a second one. A scouting rook flew across, but the buzzards took no notice. Then a dozen or so rooks took off and started to mob the buzzards.

Although there was no physical contact, at one point a buzzard had four rooks within two feet of it. The buzzard looked extremely worried.

Eventually the buzzards decided that discretion was the better part of valour and flew back to their side of the boundary.

It was amazing that this happened just on cue, and someone remarked that TV cameramen could wait for weeks to film something like that.

Click here for the map and details of our walk, and the things you can look for at this time of year

We'll keep you posted about future walks at Wapley, but you can find out more about Walking to Health by clicking here, and their programme of walks by clicking here.

Tim explains the species in the Western Wood

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Workday report 11/03/07 - Coppicing

A lot of the ash trees in the Centenary Wood have self-seeded. Soome of the "seedlings" are twelve or more feet high! Instead of trying to get rid of the extra trees, we've coppiced them, cutting them off four inches or so above the ground. That way they will shoot again from the bottom and provide an understory of growth, while reducing the competition for the larger trees.

Malcolm hard at work with a bowsaw

Dave using his croppers

"And this is only half of what we cut!"

Dave and Paul taking a well-earned break

We stacked the cut wood in large piles, to act as habitat and gradually rot down. This was the way people used to gather firewood from common land - coppicing is a renewable resource, "cut and come again".

Meanwhile Tim, Mary and Val were hard at work litter-picking.