Winter Conservation Work

 

Firstly

 The grassland between The Avenue and Bevendean Cresent.

This was cut in autumn by the council but for various reasons they were unable to remove the cuttings and after the very wet summer these were very abundant. Normally the Friends group only have one workday a month but this winter a few of us have worked most Wednesday mornings and some afternoons. We raked up most of the cuttings on this valuable site and stacked them in the old brick pit where they will rot down.Before RakingCollecting upPiled UpStacked in PitAfter Raking

Secondly the small site at the end of Knepp Close had not been cleared for several years and was getting overgrown with scrub. We spent several Wednesday mornings tackling it with brush cutters loppers and rakes. Then most of the bigger stuff was burnt at our December bonfire.

 Before aBefore bClearingCutting and RakingLopperingBurning BrashAfter

Thirdly the scrub at the bottom of the steep slopes below the TV mast is gradually pushing the bottom path further up the hill. We spent several Wednesdays and one Sunday clearing the scrub back by about 6ft. Other work included brush cutting and raking a little grassy bank that remains amongst all the scrub further along the path. The main steep south facing chalk bank south of the mast has normally been cut by contractors but due to lack of funds this has not been done for the past two winters with the inevitable result of the deterioration of this valuable species rich chalk downland.We were very fortunate to have the Brighton Conservation Volunteers come and tackle the scrub on some of the slope They will be returning again in early April to do more work for us.Another group that helped us was Portslade Green Gym who made short work of removing small hawthorn regrowth in the sheep enclosure east of Simmonds Pond.ClearedClearing BackCuttingRakingAfterBottom PathBCVBrighton Conservation Volunteers working clearing invasive scrub at Bevendean Down

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