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.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Season's greetings from Wapley Bushes


We would like to wish a happy Christmas - despite the current circumstances - to everyone who visits or helps with Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve.

We're sending you this photo because it says to us "There's a fresh New Year coming, just over the bridge". We certainly hope it's better than 2020. If not, we shall send it back under guaranteee...

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Wapley Bushes Ash Dieback update - work starts 26 October

 We've written previously about Ash Dieback Disease (ADD), and explained that tree surgery is needed this autumn to reduce around twenty major ash trees in the Ancient Woodland to 6 metres high, producing "monoliths" like this:

The monoliths will decay over a period of many years, providing habitat for woodland flora and fauna while replacement trees are growing.

Another five or so large trees were too far gone to be suitable for monolithing, so they are being taken down much lower.

The semi-mature ash trees in the Centenary Wood, between the Ancient Woodland and the Top Meadow, will all need to be felled this autumn as well.

Work will start on Monday 26 October and continue for about two weeks. During that time access to parts of the woodland will be blocked off for safety reasons.


Most of the work on the large trees in the Ancient Woodland has now been completed.  The tree surgeons will be returning on Thursday 5 October to deal with the remaining major trees, and move on to felling the semi-mature trees in the Centenary Wood.

You can read more about Ash Dieback Disease on the Wapley Bushes website
or click here to download the Wapley Bushes Ash Dieback information leaflet

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Caution - adders at Wapley

Please watch out as especially in this hot weather you may find adders basking in the grass. There has been a recent sighting of one on the slope down from the railway bridge to the Common.

Adders are a legally protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, so please don't disturb them. They are quite shy, and usually they are just as scared of people as you might be of them.

Please keep dogs under supervision. If you or your dog is bitten, you should seek immediate medical or veterinary help.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Misuse of Wapley picnic field

With the good weather and the bank holiday, there were groups of people meeting up at the Picnic Field last weekend.  It was a real state when the Parish Council groundsman went to clean it yesterday. There was evidence of drug taking, drinking, disposable BBQs slung in the hedges.  There were the little gas canisters and balloons as well.

Be warned - the police have been asked to put this area on their regular patrol route.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Watch out, ticks are about!

It is tick season, so if you are out exercising around woodlands, grasslands or moorlands, please check for ticks regularly and remove them safely. #BeTickAware.

This video shows what to do if you get bitten:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Wapley Bushes and Common are still open!

If you're looking for a big area to exercise safely while keeping the recommended two metres apart, how about visiting Wapley Common and Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve?

There's plenty of space to explore, and lots to see - the spring flowers are starting to appear, there are lots of birds, and the early butterflies are about, like this lovely Comma.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Environmental work days cancelled

Because of the Coronavirus outbreak, all work days, events and meetings organised by Wapley Bushes Conservation Group and Avon Wildlife Trust Southwold Group have been cancelled until further notice.

The advice we have received is that the risks involved with shared tools and even with gathering for a safety briefing at the start of a session are too high.

However, at the moment individuals are still being encouraged to visit green spaces as healthy exercise, as long as they maintain the two metre "social distancing". So there is no reason why we as individuals can't do things like keeping an eye on our reserves, reporting any problems to the site owner, or some individual litter picking.

We'll continue to keep you up to date with news about Wapley Bushes on this blog.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Successful last tree planting morning for the winter

We did our last planting morning on Saturday 14 March, with 11 volunteers putting another 33 native trees into the woodland to replace the ashes we shall lose to Ash Dieback Disease. We planted a mixture of oak, crack willow, small-leaved lime, alder, whitebeam, silver beech and rowan.

That completes our planting programme for this winter, and means that we have now planted more than 300 trees over the last 3 years.

Our thanks go to our many volunteers, and to Dodington Parish Council for buying the trees and paying for our always enthusiastic local contractor Chris Belcher for strimming the ground ready for us.

You may notice some gaps in the planting. We've avoided the main areas where we can see bluebells coming up, and we think there may be a bumper showing of them this year.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Now you see it, now you don't

Sharp-eyed visitors will notice that the interpretation board where the Ride leaves the Common has disappeared.

Don't worry, this is part of the process of getting new interpretation boards produced for here, and also for the Shire Way entrance and the Top Pond.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Wapley trees getting "royal treatment" with coronet cut

You may have noticed that tree surgery has been carried out recently on several trees that are suffering from ash dieback disease. They have been cut back to "monoliths" 6 metres high, and the tops have been cut into splintered shapes.

This is called "coronet cut" - it imitates the natural fractures that would happen if the decaying trees failed under storm conditions, instead of simple straight cuts. The greater surface area provides a microhabitat for insects, fungi and microorganisms. The insects will be a great food source for our local bird life.

Apparently in Sweden they experimented with achieving this effect using explosives. We decided that this wouldn't be a good idea for Wapley...

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

No, it's not the Wapley Water Park

Most of the parking area at the Besom Lane end of Wapley Common is currently under water. We think this is the worst flooding we've had since December 2012, but the water level is gradually going down now. South Glos Council has been asked to check the drains that run under Besom Lane.

*** UPDATE 6th MARCH ***
The tide has gone down, and the parking area is now clear of water. Obviously parts of the Common and Nature Reserve are still very wet.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve Work Morning - Saturday 14 March

We shall be undertaking more tree planting that will help to enhance the biodiversity of this precious nature reserve and doing a spring clean too. Please wear stout footwear.

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

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Good planting progress at Wapley Bushes Work Morning on Wed 19 February

The tree planting work morning took place on Wednesday 19 February, having been postponed from the Sunday because of the high winds. 8 hardy volunteers planted 33 native broadleaf trees that will help replace the high canopy as the tall ash trees gradually die off.

The species we planted were oak, black poplar, small-leaved lime, alder, whitebeam, silver birch and rowan - a nice mix that will provide a variety of habitats in years to come.

Our next work morning will be on Saturday 14 March, meeting at 10.00 am at the Shire Way gate. This will be the last Wapley tree planting session for this winter, but there will also be lighter tasks for anyone who prefers them. Please come and join us!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve Work Morning postponed until Wednesday 19 February

Due to Storm Dennis, the tree planting planned for Sunday 16 February has been postponed. On Monday and Tuesday rain and high speed gusts of wind are still forecast. The planting session has now been rescheduled for this Wednesday (19 February)

We shall be doing a mixture of tree planting on the reserve using native British trees plus cutting back excess vegetation. Please wear stout footwear and bring gloves.

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

In the meantime, please do not enter the woodland while the Met Office wind warnings are in place. 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Primrose Bank Workday - Saturday 1 February 2020

This workday is to clear brambles to help spring flowers has been organised by the Southwold Group of Avon Wildlife Trust on behalf of the Frome Forum. Please wear outdoor clothing, gloves and stout footwear.

Meet at 10am on the east side of Wickwar Road, Chipping Sodbury near the zebra crossing by the entrance to the Frome Valley Walkway.