The Rangers Blog – January 2020
We hope all our readers had a good Christmas and have a Happy New Year. It was good to get out of the rain for a bit over Christmas, as in December it seemed to be raining all the time! Never the less it was a busy month as always and especially so with the holidays coming up. During the month we continued to clear an area of willow at Afton Marsh to protect the freshwater reed bed, continued scrub clearance at Shide Quarry with the help of our Wildlife Warriors and the Green Gym as well as all the regular maintenance jobs that come with looking after 29 sites. Work included repairing a bench at Golden Hill, restoring step rails at Batts Copse and repairing fencing at Brading Down and Pan Mill Meadows. In addition to the above, contractors have cleared encroaching vegetation around three ponds at Golden Hill, horticultural students from the Isle of Wight College completed winter pruning of the apple trees at Merstone Station and the Green Gym visited Munsley Bog to clear cut material, repair the boardwalk and install a couple of new steps. Meanwhile at Golden Hill we have been working on renewing the Geocache trail for later in the year, monitoring the cattle grazing at Nansen Hill and Brading Down and checking and removing deadwood over paths on various sites.
During January and February we will be rushing to complete as much winter work as possible before bird nesting starts in March. Willow clearance will continue at Afton Marsh and we will be enhancing viewpoints at Golden Hill as well as continuing the orchard planting at the park entrance. We will also be assisted by the Green Gym at Pig Leg Lane to help with meadow management, path pruning and path surfacing.
Thank you for all your support.