A lot has happened since the woodland volunteers carried out their initial planting programme in 2012.
Most importantly perhaps, most of the trees have survived and have grown to a size where they now stand above the rest of the vegetation. A few succumbed to drought and competition from the grasses and lupins that have grown up on the old allotment site; these were replaced with donated trees and Black Poplars grown from cuttings;
There have been a couple of attempts to introduce wild flower plants, including cowslips, primroses and meadow saxifrage – worth keeping an eye out in the spring to see how well they are doing;
A Barn Owl box has been erected on the site – the old Mere and other grasslands around the village offer good hunting for owls so with any luck they may take up residence. The box has been relocated to a tree with a good view over the Mere to encourage them.
The public footpath linking Low Road from the old Baptist chapel to the Green is very well walked, providing a safe route for pedestrians (and their dogs) to get from one end of the village to the other.
The two commemorative oak trees planted by Dan Poulter MP and the Parish Council (both on the Mere side of the site) are both doing well and can be identified by the plaques next to them
Managing the woodland to date has largely been a matter of cutting the vegetation around the trees to reduce harmful competition from grasses and the remnants of allotment plants which thrive on the rich soil here. Now that the trees are established they should be more able to cope. A side effect of regular cutting should be to encourage some of the finer grasses and wildflowers, particularly on the rides and open grassy areas. Future management will concentrate on these things.
Mowing the rides between the blocks of trees so that people can use the whole site, not just the public footpath.
Where it is possible rake off the cut material to gradually reduce the fertility of the grassy areas to help the growth of wildflowers. The area next to the pumping station entrance is a priority as the blackthorn thicket on the edge of the Mere is invading it with huge vigour – if it isn’t cut regularly it will soon turn into a thorny jungle.
Keep tabs on changes to the site by monitoring the plant and animal species that are present, and perhaps creating a regular photographic record.
If you would like to help with any of these things please contact the Jubilee Wood trustees or Jed Bultitude (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Follow this link to see some recent photos.