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, December 28, 2015

Lilliput Park work morning - Tuesday 5 January

A small band of enthusiasts - the Lilliput Conservation Group - is spending a couple of hours on the first Tuesday of each month tidying up the hedgerows and plantings in Lilliput Park.

Please come along and help us improve this historic park. We shall be meeting at the Kingfisher Road gate at 10.00 am. Please wear suitable footwear and bring gloves if you have them.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Seeds and Satnav - Good session on 14 November despite the weather

Despite threatening rain, five of us tackled some important tasks on 14 November. You may remember that we gathered hay rattle (yellow rattle) seeds heads back in July. We dried them off, and one of us spend a couple of hours separating out the seeds. We harvested the equivalent of a hundred plus commercial seed packets - here are just some of the seeds:

We are experimenting with planting the hay rattle in patches of the invasive meadowsweet. Hay rattle is a semi-parasite - it can tap into other plants' root systems, and we are hoping that this may give us a natural means of controlling the meadowsweet. Nobody else has tried this combination, as far as we are aware. Time will tell!

Of course, next year we will need to find the particular patches we have "treated" - so we have brought in a bit of technology. We took GPS ("Satnav") readings for each of the patches:

We also noticed some "fairy rings" of large mushrooms in the meadows:

In the meantime, our other work party was busy doing litter picking - an "autumn spring clean", perhaps?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Lilliput Park work morning - Tuesday 1 December

A small band of enthusiasts - the Lilliput Conservation Group - is spending a couple of hours on the first Tuesday of each month tidying up the hedgerows and plantings in Lilliput Park.

Please come along and help us improve this historic park. We shall be meeting at the Kingfisher Road gate at 10.00 am. Please wear suitable footwear and bring gloves if you have them.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Wapley Bushes work morning - Saturday 14 November

This workday will be a morning of general maintenance work and tidying up the reserve prior to the winter season. Please wear walking or wellington boots and bring some gloves.

Meet at the Shire Way entrance to the woodland (opposite the road entrance to Cherington), south Yate, BS37 8US, 10.00am.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Replacement Kingsgate Park Nature Reserve Ponds Workday - Saturday 31 October

Regrettably, last weekend's Kingsgate Park workday had to be cancelled due to the inclement weather situation which cannot be helped.

In its place, we are turning up instead on Saturday 31 October at 10am at the Scott Way entrance.

We shall be undertaking maintenance of this important amphibian site including cutting back vegetation. Please wear gloves and wellies.

Please feel free to bring along litter picking and cutting back equipment such as saws, secateurs, shears, loppers, etc. plus the odd spade or two.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lilliput Park work morning - Tuesday 3 November

A small band of enthusiasts - the Lilliput Conservation Group - is spending a couple of hours on the first Tuesday of each month tidying up the hedgerows and plantings in Lilliput Park.

Please come along and help us improve this historic park. We shall be meeting at the Kingfisher Road gate. Please wear suitable footwear and bring gloves if you have them.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Early Bird Walk at Severn Beach - Tuesday 27 October

Up with the lark! Look out for migrating birds and listen for autumn birdsong with naturalist, braodcaster and wildlife detective Ed Drewitt. A short early morning walk along Severn Beach. Wear sturdy boots, and bring waterproofs if wet. No dogs except guide dogs please! (organised by South Glos Council as part of the annual autumn Discover Festival)

Time: 7.00 am - 8.30 am.

Meet at the entrance to Severn Beach railway Station. the walk will then go along the Severn Way. Please book your ticket through the Eventbrite website at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/early-bird-walk-tickets-17794721491

Monday, October 12, 2015

Star gazing live! Monday 19 October, 7pm at Abbotswood, yate

This is a FREE opportunity to learn more about the sky at night. Callum Potter will be our guide and there will be an indoor presentation followed by an outdoor observing session if the weather is good. Please wear warm clothes and stout footwear and please bring a torch.

Location: St Nicholas Family Centre, Chargrove, Abbotswood, Yate, BS37 4LG

Friday, October 09, 2015

Kingsgate Park Nature Reserve Ponds Workday - Saturday 24 October

We shall be undertaking maintenance of this important amphibian site including cutting back vegetation. Please wear gloves and wellies.

Meet at the Scott Way entrance to Kingsgate Park, Scott Way, Yate BS37 4NW at 10.00 am.

Successful Fungus Foray!

Around 17 people attended a fascinating Fungus Foray today with Dr Lee Hayward of the Cotswold Fungus Group. Lee told us many stories and facts about fungi, including how the different types reproduce and their importance for us as a species. Enjoy the slideshow!

Kingsgate Park Nature Reserve Ponds Workday - Saturday 24 October

We shall undertaking maintenance of this important amphibian site including the cutting back of vegetation. Please wear gloves and wellington boots.

Meet at the Scott Way entrance to Kingsgate Park, Scott Way, Yate, BS37 4NW, 10.00am

Parking is available at the entrance of Shackleton Avenue.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Fungus Foray - Friday 9 October 10.00 am

Come and join our exploration of local fungi with expert Lee Hayward of the Cotswold Fungus Group - meet at the Shire Way gate at 10.00 am. There are many kinds of fungi about at the moment - let's see how many we can find!

This event is completely free and it has been organised in cooperation with South Glos. Council. Please wear stout footwear.

Meet at the Shire Way entrance to the woodland (opposite the road entrance to Cherington), south Yate, BS37 8US, 10am.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Outstanding success for In Bloom entries!

Very pleasing that all three Dodington entries that were judged in South West In Bloom gained an "Outstanding" award, the highest grade of award:
Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve
Wapley Common and the Orchard for the Future
Dodington Allotment Association

What's more, Yate and Chipping Sodbury both have Outstanding for all their entries, so it was a remarkable "clean sweep" for our area.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Lilliput Park work morning - Tuesday 6 October

A small band of enthusiasts - the Lilliput Conservation Group - is spending a couple of hours on the first Tuesday of each month tidying up the hedgerows and plantings in Lilliput Park.

This was once the garden of Lilliput Court (formerly Down Leaze House). Some readers may remember Lilliput Court as the old Northavon Council Offices.

Please come along and help us improve this historic park. We shall be meeting at the Kingfisher Road gate. Please wear suitable footwear and bring gloves if you have them.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Kennedy Way Pond Workday - Sunday 20 September

We shall be carrying out general management works on the reserve including vegetation clearance at this local wildlife haven.

Meet at the Kennedy Way Pond, Link Road, Yate Shopping Centre, 10.00am

Parking is available at the Yate shopping centre car park on the western side of Link Road, BS37 4AY

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Report from Wapley work morning 13/09/2015

Just seven of us this morning, but we achieved a lot. We dug out the bed of the stream down through the woods, so that it won't flood when we get heavy rain.

It's a "winter stream" or "winter bourne", hence the village name Winterbourne.

We also did a major litter collection, removing half a dozen big sacks full - about par for the course after the summer holidays.

We were a bit discouraged though that there has been some fly tipping on Besom Lane near the kissing gate - we've reported it to South Glos Council.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Filming at Wapley Woods rescheduled

Please note that the days for filming at Wapley have changed:
  • Saturday 12 September - 12am to 11pm
  • A short session on the evening of Saturday 26 September for a few hours
  • Then the main shoot will take place on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October
The arrangements have been fully discussed with the Conservation Group and the Parish Council.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Filming at Wapley Woods

Please note that an amateur film unit will be fiming in and around Wapley Woods on the following dates:
  • 12/09/15 12am to 11pm
  • 19/09/15 11am to 10pm
  • 20/09/15  5pm to 11 pm
The arrangements have been fully discussed with the Conservation Group and the Parish Council.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Wapley Bushes work morning - Sunday 13 September

We shall be undertaking the annual stream clearance and other reserve maintenance walk on this autumn workday. Please wear stout footwear.

Meet at the Shire Way entrance to the woodland, south Yate, BS37 8US, 10.00am.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Ecological walk on Yate Common - Friday 11 September

A guided walk with consultant Rupert Higgins, who has been carrying out an ecological survey of  Yate Common. This has covered invertebrates, birds and lower plants. with a concentration on vascular plants.

Rupert will point out many of the species he has found.

The survey has been done to produce a 5 year Management Plan.

Meet at 10.30 am at the start of the "Road to Nowhere" on the Rodford Way roundabout.

Monday, September 07, 2015

One man came to mow...

Well, probably several men! Walkers will have seen that only one third of the "narrow side" of Wapley Common, where the orchard is, has been mown. This is so that that other two thirds of the grass will fall as a dense mat and provide a habitat for mice and voles.

These small mammals are ideal "owl takeaways" and will encourage our local tawny owls (and perhaps others) to nest in the near side of the woodland.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Below the surface

A lot goes on at Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve between workdays. Members of the committee and friends walk the Reserve regularly, tidying up and clipping back overgrowth. Dodington Parish Council's handyman and street warden visit to clear litter, especiall after busy weekends.

Other "unseen" work includes monitoring the fruit trees and treating them with traditional remedies as necessary. Members of the public report any problems they find on the Reserve, and the Committee or the Parish Council try to deal with them as quickly as possible.

We also do a monthly photo shoot right round the Reserve, the Common and the Orchard - we've now got an archive of digital photos going back to January 2003. This allows us to monitor how things develop month by month, and to compare different years at the same time.

Sometimes the photo survey produces surprises - these plate-sized bracket fungi have appeared in the last month. We know where they usually appear each year, so we keep a look out every time we walk round to see whether they've arrived yet.

All this information feeds into our management of the Reserve. The Five Year Management Plan is being revised at the moment by a professional ecological consultant, and he will be making recommendations that form the basis of the work we undertake on work mornings or commission contractors to carry out.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Last chance to see

The meadows will be mown fairly shortly, and we're getting to the end of the butterfly season. So if you want to see Wapley at its summer best, take advantage of a sunny day and head over to see what you can find.

Here are a couple of butterflies on their favourite plant, black knapweed:

Marbled white
Meadow Brown

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Success again for Wapley Bushes

Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve and the Orchard for the Future have won the Green Flag Community Award for the third year running - the only Green Flag Award in South Gloucestershire.

The Green Flag Award scheme recognises quality parks or green spaces. In total, 1,582 parks, cemeteries, universities, shopping centres and community gardens in the UK have met the high standard needed to receive the Green Flag Award or the Green Flag Community Award.

The Green Flag Awards are judged by an army of more than 700 green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement. The Green Flag Awards Scheme is run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

Obviously Wapley Bushes Conservation Group, who manage the Reserve, and landowners Dodington Parish Council are very pleased with this success. They are now looking forward to hearing the results of their South West in Bloom award entries.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Working in the wet - 12 July workday

On a very wet morning half a dozen of us carried out some essential maintenance tasks on the reserve. The bushes alongside the paths have been growing at an incredible rate, at least a foot a month. We split into several working parties and carved our way through the jungle to try to keep all the paths walkable.

Meanwhile we also did some light summer pruning of the stoned fruit trees, and checked round the apple trees as well - we think we're going to have an apple crop on the Common this year.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Harvesting the meadow

Part of our haul of rattle seed
Four of us spent a couple of hours at Wapley on Wednesday collecting hay rattle (yellow rattle) seeds. This plant has large seeds, and if you pick the seed pods when they have dried and shake them, you can hear the seeds rattle.

Rattle is an interesting plant - it's a hemi-parasite. It has green leaves that can photosynthesise, but it can tap into grass roots and draw nutrient from them, which weakens the grass.

Up at the top of the Lower Meadow we have an area where the grass is so vigorous that few wildflowers can take hold. Our idea is that by sowing small patches of rattle there we can weaken the grass and encourage species diversity. It'll be an interesting experiment - we're starting to play with GPS to record where we do things like this.

We're also wondering whether hay rattle can feed off the root systems of the invasive plant meadowsweet - perhaps this could be a way of bringing it more under control.

In more news from the reserve, the areas that were seeded after they were damaged by vehicles turning are showing a lovely crop of annuals - the perennials will come along later.

The patch at the bridge end of the Common, on the orchard side
 In the cottages part of the orchard, the climbing rose that we trained up the dead plum tree has shot upwards, and is now in bloom.

Please come and join us at our work morning this Sunday (12 July) - meet at 10.00 am at the Shire Way gate for a couple of hours of light stoned fruit tree pruning and general maintenance tasks. As usual there will be something for everyone. Please wear suitable footwear and bring gloves if you have them.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Wapley Bushes Summer Fruit Tree Pruning morning Sunday 12 July

Please come and join us for a pleasant summer work morning - nothing too strenuous!

As well as pruning stoned fruit trees such as plums and gages, we shall also be attending to odd jobs on the reserve. There will be something for everyone!

Meet at the Shire Way entrance to the woodland, south Yate, BS37 8US, 10.00am.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Wapley Guided walk explores "orchid alley"

Sixteen wildlife enthusiasts, including a group of visitors from the Cabot Group of the Wildlife Trust in Bristol, explored Wapley's meadows and woodlands last weekend. We found three of Wapley's five species of orchids and many other meadow flowers. Then we went into the woodland and talked about the challenge of ash dieback disease and how the Wapley Bushes Conservation Group is planning to cope with it. Finally we visited the Orchard for the Future, where local varieties of fruit trees (ones you can't buy in the shops) have been planted on one side of Wapley Common.

It's not surprising they call it a bee orchid!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Butterflies, bees and orchids - Wapley meadow at its best

Now is the time to visit Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve if you're interested in meadow flowers and insects. Investigate on your own, or join us on our public guided walk this Sunday 28 June, meeting at 2pm at the Shire Way gate. We shall be welcoming guests from the Cabot Group of the Wildlife Trust but everyone is welcome. Here are some photos from the last few days:

Bee orchid
Common spotted orchid
Six-spot burnet moth on black knapweed
Small white female butterfly

Meadow brown male butterfly
Ringlet butterfly

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Wapley bridge official opening photo

A photo of the official opening of the new Sergeant's Farm Bridge today - Cllr Christine Howard, Chairman of Dodington Parish Council, assisted by yours truly. They loaned her a pair of gold-coloured scissors to cut the ribbon!

Wapley bridge replacement timelapse film

Courtesy of Network Rail. Very impressive!

This video shows the replacement of Sergeant's Farm Bridge,  which links Shire Way to Wapley Common and the Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Wapley Bridge - Network Rail opening event tomorrow (Tuesday 28 April)

With only a day's notice, Network Rail have said that they are having an official opening event at the bridge at 11.00 am tomorrow (Tuesday 28 April) to which local residents are invited.

Dodington Parish Council will organise a community celebration in a few weeks time - we'll let you know.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Wapley footbridge is now open!

The new Sergeant's Farm Bridge opened yesterday evening, and people seem to like it. 

There's a motorbike barrier and a kissing gate, which can be opened fully to let wheelchairs through if you have a RADAR key.

The slope looks manageable for anyone pushing a wheelchair or a buggy.

The span of the temporary bridge across the railway was removed overnight.

Well done to Network Rail's contractors Murphy, and also to all involved from Dodington Parish Council and South Glos Council's Public Rights of Way section.

The Big Pull 2015

The Big Pull is run by South Glos council, as part of the Wild4life project, and the Avon Invasive Weeds Forum.

Himalayan Balsam is a plant which is rapidly spreading across the UK invading the banks of our rivers and streams, smothering our native plants and causing flooding. Pulling it up is the easiest way to control it.

Last years campaign was very successful, with 106 volunteers - including many local people - helping to clear a 675m stretch along the River Frome. Here’s what some pullers had to say about it:

‘Great morning – something very therapeutic about pulling up that balsam!’
‘Nice to meet new people and meet old friends.’

The organisers provide the equipment and guidance, you provide the pulling power.

Join us for a free Big Pull morning on:
    Saturday 31 May
    Saturday 7 June
    Saturday 28 June
    Saturday 12 July

The mornings run from 10am to 1pm. Meet at the far end of Celestine Road, Yate, BS37 5HB.
  •     All ages are welcome and there’s no need to book
  •     Free refreshments and snacks provided
  •     Please wear strong outdoor footwear and weatherproof clothing
  •     Long trousers and sleeves advised and sun cream and a hat if the weather is hot
For further information or to discuss any access needs please contact communityspaces@southglos.gov.uk or call 01454 863556.

Friday, April 24, 2015

New Wapley bridge may open any day

It's possible that the new Sergeant's Farm Bridge, which links Shire Way to Wapley Common, may open as soon as tomorrow (Sat 25 April).

If all goes to plan tomorrow, we understand that Murphys have Network Rail's permission to remove the temporary bridge overnight Saturday/Sunday. Fingers crossed...

They have been installing the new boundary fence for the Network Rail compound. At least in the short term the path from the bridge will emerge at the zebra crossing, then people will be able to walk along the short length of tarmac on the edge of Shire Way and then follow the path back into the ashtrack.

It is hoped to organise a modest celebration event in the near future, possibly involving a local school. We'll keep you posted.

Friday, April 03, 2015

South Gloucestershire Spring Walk, Sunday 19 April

This will be a guided tour around a scenic and rural part of South Gloucestershire to coincide with the bluebell flowering season. Please wear walking boots or other stout footwear and please note that ample free car parking is available at the Wickwar Road car park. Meet for a car share at the Clock Tower, High Street, Chipping Sodbury, 2.00pm.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Goose Green Spring Clean, Saturday 11 April

As part of our commitment to this local grassland and wetland nature reserve, we shall be undertaking reserve maintenance such as path clearance and a general reserve tidy up. Please wear walking or wellington boots and bring some gloves. Please meet at the bridge on the reserve, west of Oak Close, north Yate, 10.00am.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Wapley workday deals with water, planting and rubbish

The Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve work morning on 14 March attracted 26 Wapley Bushes Conservation Group volunteers and friends, including family groups and a community work party from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

We tackled a wide range of tasks. One party planted trees to form a barrier at the edge of the picnic area, while others cleaned up around the main paths and public areas, gathering around 15 bags of litter (plus a carpet from a roadside ditch)

Eager volunteers get a safety talk before all the planting and clearing
The third and heaviest job of the day was probably clearing silt from the water channel out of the top pond to stop it overflowing. A vital part of managing the Nature Reserve is controlling the flow of the water to conserve the various habitats. It was interesting to find a quantity of frogspawn in one part of the the top pond, something that had not been seen there before but which accounts for the frogs that are seen in the meadows.

"I think the water's going down" - Paul Hulbert checks the depth

This video gives some idea of the amount of silt in the stream

We're glad to report that the mud from railway works we mentioned recently has been partly cleared up, and arrangements have been made to reinstate the area concerned. The contractors now expect to be off site by the end of April.

P.S. If anyone still has two litter-picking tools from Saturday, please ring Paul on 07771 562505 to arrange to return them.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Mud, mud, glorious mud

Network Rail's contractors have caused more damage to the grass than we anticipated, but we're on the case.

As you can see, the big tracked vehicle and the tractor and trailer have been taken further into the mouth of the Lower Meadow than we had anticipated, and the whole entranceway is just mud.

There are also tracks on the near corner of the Common and to the side of the roadway in between.

The big tracked vehicle will be removed from the Common side of the bridge on Saturday night, crossing the railway track to get back to the compound. The tractor and trailer will finish their work on Monday. On Tuesday there should be a pavement sweeper on site to clean the mud off the tarmac roadway.

We are meeting the site manager on Monday morning to discuss the RADAR gate and ground reinstatement. The site manager appreciates that we're not best pleased, while we do understand the practical difficulties of manoeuvring such large vehicles in such tight quarters.

On a related local note, we have also met South Glos this morning about the boggy patches on the "Ashtrack" footpath from Wapley Bridge towards Goldcrest Park. They have measured it up and agreed the necessary works, and they anticipate doing the work in June/July when Network Rail are well clear and the ground has dried up. Some parts of the path will just be topped up, the worst parts will be reconstructed and drainage will be put in at one or two points.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Fast progress on Wapley Bridge approaches

All the precast concrete units are now in place, and the big tracked vehicle should be crossing back over the line on Saturday night. Work is under way to fill in the sections with aggregate and then put the top surface on.

Obviously moving the tracked vehicle and the tractor backwards and forwards has created a reasonable amount of mud on the Wapley side. A street sweeping vehicle has been ordered for Tuesday to clear this up.

Monday, March 02, 2015

All systems go again on Wapley bridge works

The large tracked vehicle crossed the track overnight Saturday 28th February / Sunday 1st March and is now at work on the Common side of the line. It JUST fits on the approach ramp!

The first of the remaining precast concrete sections has been transported to the south side and lifted into place.

The sections are being moved by tractor and trailer via Besom Lane and Wapley Common.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Wapley Bushes Work Morning, Saturday 14 March

We shall be undertaking general management tasks, including a spring clean, that will help to enhance the biodiversity of this precious nature reserve. Please wear stout footwear. Meet at the Shire Way entrance to the woodland, south Yate, BS37 8US, 10.00am.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Quiz Night Live! - Friday 13 March

This is your chance to have some fun and pick a team of Eggheads and bring them along to our general knowledge quiz in aid of Avon Wildlife Trust. You are most welcome make up a team name and bring your own snacks and beverages. We will also be serving tea and coffee for you in the break. Quiz teams are usually made up of four players at a cost of £2.50 per individual team member. Please contact Malcolm on 01454 310328 to book your team's place. Venue: The Old Grammar School, High Street, Chipping Sodbury, 7.30pm.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Wapley Bridge - latest update

Residents will be aware that work on the bridge has slowed down dramatically over the the last few weeks. This was due to problems with the finish on some of the precast concrete units, but these have now been solved.

Another difficulty has been how to get the large tracked vehicle (the orange one in the photo) across to the other side of the line, because of the traffic restrictions on Besom Lane.

It is now planned to take the big vehicle across the railway track at night, possibly this coming weekend.

Work should then proceed quickly. The concrete sections will still be brought round to the other side on a trailer pulled by a large tractor, via Wapley Common as previously planned.

STOP PRESS: The big vehicle is due to cross the line on Saturday night (28 Feb). The concrete sections will be taken round next week, and most of the Beson Lane parking area will be coned off for the week so that they can get the big tractor and trailer in and out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wapley tree workshop very fruitful

Mr Fruit explained how to prune fruit trees to get the best shape in the future

Mr Fruit checking up on some of the pruning carried out by the volunteers
Wapley Bushes Conservation Group were very pleased by the turnout for their Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop at Wapley on 15 February. Twenty people attended, representing eight environmental groups from across South Gloucestershire and a number of private landowners,

The workshop was run by "Mr Fruit" Graham White who has advised the Conservation Group and Dodington Parish Council ever since they planted the "Orchard For The Future" on Wapley Common in March 2011.

"We were very glad to offer this training opportunity to other groups like ourselves" said Cllr Paul Hulbert, who is a regular volunteer at the Nature Reserve. "This area used to have a lot of small orchards, but most have been lost. We're keen to get lots of community orchards started again, and we need to spread the skills needed to maintain them"

Wapley Bushes Conservation Group's next practical event will be a woodland work morning and spring clean on Saturday 14 March from 10.00 am to enhance the biodiversity of this precious nature reserve.

"Everyone is welcome" said Cllr Hulbert. "Please wear stout footwear, but we will provide the tools. We shall be meeting at the Shire Way entrance to the woodland, south Yate, BS37 8US"

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Free Winter Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop at Wapley Bushes, Sunday 15 February

The workshop tutor will be local fruit tree expert Mr Graham White. Advance booking is not required - just turn up on the day. The meeting place is the southern Besom Lane entrance to Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve, Besom Lane, Westerleigh, South Gloucestershire, BS37 8RW, starting at 10am.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Wapley bridge - the next phase

Local people will have seen the concrete path sections being placed on the ramp down from the bridge towards Shire Way. It's now time for the concrete sections to be put in on the other ramp, towards Wapley Common.

This is rather little more complicated, and will involve a 3.4 metre wide caterpillar track vehicle (effectively a digger without the bucket) being brought in along the Common roadway. Steel plates, track mats and bog mats will be used as applicable to spread the load. It will take most of a day to get this large vehicle over the Common into position.

The prefabricated concrete sections will be transported across the Common on a trailer, pulled by a tractor, which will distribute the weight and reduce the risk of damage to the tarmac pathway. The sections will be brought in individually as they are needed.

Dodington Parish Council and Wapley Conservation Group met the contractors Murphy this afternoon and talked through the process in detail. Public safety issues were discussed thoroughly, including what would happen if we have significant snowfall - if the children are off school and come over to Wapley to go sledging, the contractors appreciate that they will have to suspend particular parts of their work.

This phase of the work is expected to take a week to two weeks, starting shortly.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ridge Wood - Woodland Work Day, Sunday 25th January

Come and join this woodland work day on Sunday 25 January from 10 am until 12 noon.

Meet at the Melrose Close entrance to the woodland, gloves and tools are provided. Activities may include scrub clearance, coppicing, planting and general woodland maintenance - please see the Ridge Wood website for more details

Work days are a fantastic way to make a practical contribution to the future of this important local nature reserve, and are great fun. New volunteers are always welcome. No need to book, just turn up.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Wapley bridge - side panels added

The side panels were added to the replacement Sergeants Farm Bridge last night, and the very large crane has now left site.

Presumably the next step will be to establish the bridge deck, and then build up the approach ramps.

Work is anticipated to take until some time in March to complete.