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.

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.