The weather was forecast to be grey and wet on Thursday 29th November, however beams of sunlight adorned the site, shining through windows in the clouds that floated over the Berrylands Nature Reserve.
The day marked a significant moment in the nature reserve’s history, as this was the first conservation day organised by the Friends Group. The aim of the day was to continue the great work that the Environment Trust led on the previous day, planting tree species around the newly established wildlife pond and to create a new hedgerow along the grassland on the eastern section of the site.
10 smiling volunteers met at the Berrylands Scouts Hut, some who were our regular volunteers and some new people too! After a brief introduction and safety talk, the team jumped into action. One group continued to work on the pond hedgerow planting, another scoured the site in search of litter while the final group prepared the ground to plant a new hedgerow along the site’s boundary. These trees included some fantastic native species, with blackthorn, hawthorn, field maple and hazel that all reflecting and benefiting the sites ecology.
The pond area is starting to establish now, despite a difficult summer drought. However, to really give it the best chance we want to encourage dogs to only play in the stream, as they can really damage the pond’s ecology. By planting a hedge with a gate around the pond we hope to work alongside dog walkers and make the pond the best it can be. This will also act as a natural barrier around the nature reserve.
Another group of volunteers worked tirelessly to plant to additional double hedgerow on the grassland boundary on the eastern element of the site. Increasing the diversity of habitat that area currently hosts. To prepare this, volunteers dug out the roots of brambles using mattocks, and also planted some standalone trees that will enable site lines into the site from Elmbridge Avenue. These hedgerows and trees provide great habitat for nesting birds, small mammals and an array of invertebrates.
We would like to thank TCV and Ikea who supplied the trees, the Environment Trust for kicking off the volunteering work, Citizen Zoo for supplying the tools and all the volunteers who made the day possible. We look forward to loads more events so do get involved and volunteer.