Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Easter Tree Trail at Fleet Pond

Hart District Councils Countryside Service held a fun and educational Easter event this weekend. A large number of families turned out on Friday and Saturday to earn their Easter Eggs by completing a challenging tree trail around Fleet Pond Local Nature Reserve.

Thanks to rangers Leigh, Adam and Rachel and the Fleet Pond Society for all their help running this event. There were only a few Easter Eggs left that we will save for our next conservation volunteer day!

The visiting public also enjoyed a wonderful view through binoculars of the Herons nesting on one of the islands that can be seen from the picnic area.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Another Great Fleet Pond Society Volunteer Day!

A fun day was had by all on Sunday with so many hard working volunteers. We had a nice mix of jobs to do and so split up into teams.

We collected brash along the footpaths, patched up fences, repaired eroding banks, and painted part of the new viewing point. Of course we had a bonfire to get rid of all the excess!

A lovely sunny day and a great turn out made it a real success. Thank you to all!

Ranger Rach.

Grazing on Hazeley Heath

Four lovely cows can now be seen grazing on Hazeley Heath for the fifth and final year of the Hazeley Heath Grazing Trial. One Irish Moiled ,who is the older lead cow, and three young Belted Galloway's.

Thank you to Miller's Ark for delivering them to us!

Please follow the Countryside Code in this area and keep your dogs under close control, making sure all gates are shut behind you when entering the grazing enclosure.

The cattle will be with us until the end of September hopefully doing a great job of munching the competitive grasses and opening up opportunities for some of the rare heathland flora to grow whilst poaching the ground for some wet loving species. This then provides a great habitat for lots of specialist invertebrates.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Fleet Pond Memorial Benches

We need your help!

The Countryside Service are trying to track down the sponsors of any of the memorial benches around the pond, especially in the Hemelite Bay area.

If you are a sponsor, or you know anyone who is, please contact us by emailing countryside@hart.gov.uk or calling 01252 623443.

Thank you

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Spring has Sprung

While out and about in Church Crookham yesterday tree surveying, I couldn't help but notice how many trees and scrub were coming in to flower. There are some really showy Magnolia's and Cherries in private gardens, and Blackthorn, Goat Willow, Apple, Pear and Cherry in hedgerows and on Hart-owned spaces. 

One of my favourites is the Japanese Cherry with pink, double flowers. This is Prunus serrulata 'Kanzans'. 

Alongside other Cherries they look like sticks of Candy Floss with twice as many flowers. While not native, the flowers provide an important source of nectar in the early spring which encourages bees and butterflies to be drawn to them. I did notice a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly  on a Goat Willow flower but it flew off before I managed to get my camera to it. 

Many of the Cherries flowering now will bear fruit later on in the year. Some of these are quite edible although the native Cherry, Prunus avium, is incredibly sour and most people find them foul, however I am quite partial to these for some reason! 

Ranger Adam 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Conservation Grazing on Fugelmere Marsh

Despite very boggy conditions the fencing has been completed at Sandy Bay, Fleet Pond. Now this area will be able to regenerate as an extension to the rare marsh/wetland habitat and will allow rare breed cattle to help with the future conservation management of Fugelmere Marsh.

Lord Wandsworth Students Get Stuck In!

Students from Lord Wandsworth College cleared the footpath last Friday from the canal on to Odiham Common.

They helped rangers Rach and Will get stuck in to clearing the thorny scrub and brambles that were encroaching on the path right up to the fence line. We are very grateful for all their efforts.