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Environmental cash for Gobions 

Report by Michael Jonas of the Gobions Woodland Trust and Groundwork Hertfordshire.

November 20, 1999

Over the past few Sunday mornings, the faithful few GWT volunteers have been clearing sycamore and elder scrub in a small section on the south side of the Wood, ready for new planting.

In conjunction with this scrub clearance, several mature sycamores have also been felled as part of our ongoing programme of regeneration and management.

Sycamores are not one of our traditional native species and, as so often with other imported plants and animals, they tend to out compete the indigenous species.

They have large leaves that open out in April, casting a heavy shadow which shades out the spring flowers.

Our native ash and oak are not fully resplendent until late May or early June. We shall be replanting the area with some fifty standard size trees: oak, alder and willow. The last two are well suited to the edge of Deep Bottom, an area subject to periodic flooding when the swallow hole system fills up.

These three species are amongst the most important environmentally due to the number of insects they host, which in turn provide food for our bird life.

These trees will be planted on Sunday morning, November 28, with the help of members of Bradmore Green W.I., to celebrate the millennium, at the request of the W.I., as part of their celebrations.

Funds for new pond

A second autumn project is to fit a liner to a pond we dug in the corner of the upper Leach Fields (behind number 30 Bluebridge Avenue).

The bed of the pond is mostly clay and we had hoped it would retain water without any further work.

However the stream, from which we have laid an underground filler pipe, flows only after heavy or prolonged rain.

So, although the pond has filled on several occasions, these have not been sufficiently frequent to allow the ground surface to silt up and seal the small fissures in the clay, hence the decision to install a man-made liner.

Throughout the country, many ponds have been lost during the latter half of this century due to building works, agriculture and silting up through lack of maintenance.

Ponds are one of our most important habitats as many insects, frogs, newts, etc, spend part of their cycle in water.

Therefore, we, the Gobions Woodland Trust, not only look after existing ponds on our land, but, where suitable, consider new ponds.

We have been fortunate, and grateful, to obtain funding for this new liner from TRANSCO (350) and HELP, the Hertfordshire Environmental Landfill Partnership (2,500).

The members of HELP are Groundwork Hertfordshire,  the Countryside Management Service and the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.

They offer grants of up to 5,000 to non profit-making local organisations for projects which benefit the local community and environmental projects.

For more information on Groundwork telephone 01707-260129.

Report by Michael Jonas of the Gobions Woodland Trust and Groundwork Hertfordshire.

November 20, 1999

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