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.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Unable to contact us?

It appears that there is a problem contacting the Conservation Group through the address on our website. We'll look into this, but in the meantime please feel free to email us on paul.hulbert@gmail.com.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Report of work morning 09/11/08

Our main target this morning was to clear out the stream that runs down through the wood at times of heavy rain. If we didn't keep it clear it would overflow and part of the wood would start to become marshy.

On our way up to the stream we found that this tree had been blown down over the path during the strong winds last night. Still, it was nothing that a good saw couldn't cure.

Our next work morning will be on Sunday Jan 11th 2009, meeting at 10 am at the gate off Shire Way, Yate. We look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Our first video!

A quick look at some current work and issues in the Lower Meadow.

Please don't forget to join us on our workday next week, Monday 9 November. We're meeting at the Shire Way gate at 10 am. Please wear wellies - we'll provide any necessary tools. See you there!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Rained off...

Unfortunately our work morning on 31 August was rained off. There had been some heavy downpours, and as we we intending to do stream clearing it would have been dangerously slipperly.

Never mind - there are more work mornings planned:
Sunday Nov 9th 2008
Sunday Jan 11th 2009
Sunday March 1st 2009

On each occasion we will be meeting at 10.00 am at the Shire Way gate. Please watch this space for more details.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wapley Bushes - come and help, Sunday 31 August

The Wapley Bushes Conservation Group is meeting on Sunday 31 August at the Shire Way gate at 10.00 am. We will be doing some general conservation work such as tidying up a small stream that is the habitat of a very rare plant. (No, not this one - this is just one of the Lords and Ladies arums)

Please come along and help! Tools are provided, but you'll need to wear wellies or stout footwear and appropriate clothing. If you would like more details please ring Paul on 01454 315851, but you can just turn up on the day.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Report from 27 June workday

Just a very quick Wapley update - we had a very successful workday. We cleared overhanging branches from around meadows and paths and used the brash (the cut branches) to rebuild the dead hedge at the bottom of path - it looks good now.

We have also recently measured out the woodland ride path, which needs improvement to stop it getting so muddy after rain. We are also likely to have two informal rest stops as well. The next steps will be getting detailed quotations and applying for funding.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tadpoles ahoy, and report from workday 18/05/08

Mary, Dave and Val cropping overhanging branches

A good workday today. We concentrated on removing small stumps and regrowth from the field edges that the contractor cleared for us a few months ago, so that the grass can be cut without damage to the cutter blades. Even so they will have to set the blades very high, but it will stop the blackthorn and other species from invading the meadow again. We also cut back some overhanging branches so that the tractor can get right in close to the hedges.

On our way round we stopped to look at the top pond, and were very pleased to see some tadpoles there for the first time. This is more significant than it sounds, as this pond used to be relatively bereft of life. Over the last couple of years we've worked to improve the pond. First we had it dug out deeper so that it holds water for more of the year. Then we planted marginal plants along the edge and on the bank, and we had some of the tree canopy cut back to let in more light.

It appears that we're succeeding in increasing the biodiversity of the pond - there's now a range of water life, both plants and insects. And now invertebrates - we're not sure yet whether they are toads or frogs. Very pleasing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring has nearly sprung!

Spring is almost with us, judging by a stroll at Wapley Bushes over Easter:

bluebellsThe first bluebells are just emerging...

primrosesA few primroses...

celandinesAnd lesser celandines on the woodland floor

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Report from work morning 2nd March

We had a very successful work morning today. One work party thinned out a large number of surplus ash trees in the Centenary Wood to allow the main tree to grow without too much competition. It seemed perverse to be cutting down young trees, but it will be for the best in the long term.

Following traditional woodland practices, we coppiced them - cutting them off at 10 to 15 cm from ground level so that they will regrow as bushes. This understorey will hopefully stop the brambles from invading.
Meanwhile the other group worked their way round the meadows, where the invasive growth has recently been cut back, trimming off stray saplings and gathering up litter. We were glad to be joined by several young people who worked hard to help us.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Work morning tomorrow (2 March)

A quick reminder that there's a Wapley work morning tomorrow, meeting at the Shire Way gate at 10.00 am. We're doing some traditional woodland management - coppicing - and litter clearance. The weather forecast is good, so come and join us for some fresh air and gentle exercise.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Report from work morning 27th January

On a bright but cold morning we tackled some very different jobs. First we planted some trees and bushes to fill in the gaps in the picnic area hedge.

Then we moved on to the lower end of the Western Wood...

... where we planted a range of native wild flowers - red campion, lesser celandine and bluebells. Notice that there are green shoots already poking their heads up through the leaf mould.

We also cleared a ditch on the side of the Lower Meadow to help the recent rain to flow away without spilling out into the field.

These photos were taken by Isabel Ryan - thank you, Isabel.

Effects of Global Warming

Springlike sunshine in Harry Stoke today

Here's an interesting post by a Canadian blogger writing about the effects of global warming in this part of our country, and quoting some recent press articles.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Look out for fungi

At first glance the Reserve looks pretty bare at the moment, but if you look carefully you'll see all sorts of interesting things. Here are some fungi near the bottom gate of the Western Wood.

Caught napping

Spotted on Friday on a path in the Western Wood - this rabbit (probably an escaped domestic one), fast asleep. It looked in very good condition.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A heron profits from the flooding

Spotted several mornings recently in the flooded field just Yate side of Frampton Cotterell - a heron staring intently into the water.

At first I thought it was being optimistic and looking for non-existent fish, but then I realised that it was looking for frogs - a tasty breakfast for a heron.

Workday this Sunday (27 January)

Just a reminder that the next Wapley Bushes Conservation Group is on Sunday, meeting at the Shire Way gate at 10.00 am. Please come along and help us. We will be doing some planting and general conservation work.

Please wear wellies or stout footwear and appropriate clothing. To find out more please ring Paul on 01454 315851 or Isabel on 01454 313055.