|Spring Time and Beyond|
|Since the Spring of this year, the Gazen Salts Nature reserve has been busy. As volunteers, we are never short of things to do, even one Wednesday a week and with the once-a-month Saturday. |
Parts 1 and 2 will complete the introduction to Gazen Salts and end the current season. Season 2 will commence late August.
|Spring Time and Beyond |
|From March through till May, the tasks we were involved in were richly varied, from building refugia for Gallow’s Field, which l will discuss shortly, to clearing the overgrowth away from one of the hidden ponds. The New Pond had been overgrown and hidden away from visitors’ eyes since 2015, so that was quite the discovery and task!|
|During April, we began the task of building a new form of microenvironment called ‘Refugia.’ They are a form of a bug hotel. They are used to support the preservation of species ranging from the likes of hedgehogs to lizards and insects. Of course, who dwells there depends upon and reflects heavily upon the season they are in residence.|
These areas of refuge offer just that for local and visiting species and are a form of the natural environment within the actual purpose-built habitat. They are great mediums to help with the conservation and preservation of biodiversity—ideally, a haven providing security and safety.
All the brush clearings we performed in the later winter months that weren’t burnt on fire were kept back for the buildings of these environments.
|These images were used in the Guy blog, however sadly the originals are gone – hence the copies.|
|It was vastly foliaged, dark, and dank, and l never knew it was there despite all my visits to the Reserve. So l, for one, was delighted to be involved in the uncovering and unearthing the lost pond.|
We still have substantial overgrown areas that need to be cleared, but these will be started as projects come the autumn. Gazen Salts has a lot of water here, in streams, ponds, or small canals, and the Fresh Pond was also completed during the Spring.
|All the pathways have been cleared and cut through once more, meaning that visitors to the Reserve can now walk for a good hour if they stroll through all the barked areas, which is much better than the twenty minutes of the previous year .|
|Gazen Salt’s Fundraiser, Counsellor Colin Wiles, did a smashing job of raising sufficient funds to cover the introduction of a series of solid and practical direction posts for the Reserve, which make a visitor’s ease of direction very smooth indeed. He raised enough to purchase nine block direction signs and some displayed above in their sited locations in the Reserve.|
|Another taxing but rewarding task that was undertaken was the de-ivying [my word] of trees. This means cutting away the ivy that grows up a healthy tree.|
Dense ivy foliage is heavy, and if the tree is old, it may cause further issues.
The ivy doesn’t kill a tree despite what some people think. It serves as an excellent ground cover, harbours many forms of insect and bird life year-round, and is a valuable source for pollinating insects.
However, the foliage from spreading ivy can cause the loss of light through the branches of trees. But as ivy also awards many benefits to wildlife, the secret is to ensure that just the right amount of ivy removal is performed only. It can be quite a hard task as the ivy has firmly grown attached to the trunk of the tree itself and so must be completely cut away.
|Robin’s Walk was also wholly uncovered; all the walkways were cleared and cut back. This used to be called The Brambles, and the paths were a little unsteady although it was accessible to walkers. |
That is now no longer the case.
Strangely it isn’t a well-walked part of the Reserve. I feel this will soon change as from August the entrance to Gallow’s Field is only available from Robin Walk, so then l think this lovely quiet area will experience more footfall.
|The feeding station built a new Twitcher’s shelter [bird watchers].|
|Tales from Gazen Salts Nature Reserve is about my time and stories of my work with this project.|
Hopefully, you enjoyed this introduction, and I’ll see you next episode. Thanks for reading.
Gazen Salts Nature Reserve
Sandwich, Kent, England, UK
|Spring Time and Beyond – Part Two – Summer 2022 – Next Episode|