Thursday, 27 March 2014

Restoration Work in Snipes Dene

Wednesday 26th March 2014

Several years ago much of Snipes Dene was cleared of conifer trees. The conservation team’s remit today was to help get the restoration process underway. A group of 10 volunteers headed off to one end of Snipes Dene to plant out 150 oak saplings (whips). Three small areas were each to receive 50 saplings.

After selecting a suitable spot to plant a sapling, a small area of ground was screefed ( a process of scraping away vegetation to expose a bare patch of earth, thus removing any competition from the newly planted sapling). The saplings were notch planted:  two deep notches into the ground at right angles, to form a "T" shape and a flap of earth was lifted so that the tree could be inserted into the gap. The notch was then closed by treading around the tree at the same time keeping the stem vertical. A protective plastic tube was then placed around the sapling and held in place by a wooden stake.

Preparation Work

Fitting Protective Tube

The Right Way up! Notice the flared edge
which prevents damage tot the growing sapling.
By lunchtime the task was complete, so 5 of us headed off to another part Snipes Dene to thin out silver birch trees as we had done last week in West Wood.
One of the planting sites
At a later date there will be more tree planting in Snipes Dene, including alder and other native species.
Further signs of spring abound with lesser celandine, dog’s violet, coltsfoot and cowslip. It will soon be time to start some survey work.
Phil Coyne


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