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Well done to all our Friends of Bute Park volunteers who steadfastly pulled Himalayan Balsam from May this year till late September.  You are stars each and every one of you, and at the last meeting the Committee wanted their thanks to be passed on to you.  We, who pulled beside you, thank you too.

We have pulled a few since then, one being the 25th June as mentioned in our News.

Himalayan Balsam Pulling 14th May 2017

We all enjoyed it.  A couple of new people joined us, but they were old hands since they had volunteered at Fforest Farm and Hailey Park.  One of our newest volunteers is doing his Duke of Edinburgh Award, so our best wishes go for the completion of that.

One of the piles of Himalayan Balsam we made.

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Himalayan Balsam Pulling 7th May 2017.

Went very well.  Enjoyed by all and they decided to do another pull 
on the 14th May

Himalayan Balsam Pulling 30th April.

Went very well. Loads of HB where we were pulling but we are making a difference, especially looking at what it was like when we started.    We are very fortunate in our volunteers, once they get the bug, most come back again and again.  So satisfying, social and keeps us fit.

Himalayan Balsam Pulling last Sunday 23rd April.

This didn't quite go to plan as we were hijacked first off to help out 
with the Bat Groups Wild Flower Meadows Project, but my trusty 
group of volunteers were happy to help tromp the seeds into the 
ground so they had more contact with it, and break up the hard soil a 
little bit more.  Then the group took some wild flowers out of their 
plant pots and dug those into the ground, then gave them a 
good watering.  Hopefully they will survive the lovely weather we've 
been having and thrive and provide a lovely sight to humans and a 
good source of insect food to Bats.  Personally I am on the side of the 
insects, but its a Bat eat Insect World.  
Very proud of our stalwart volunteers because after having a go at the 
wild flower meadow, they continued with the project they had gathered
 at the Secret Garden Café for, and went and pulled up Himalayan 
Balsam in order to  give other flowers a chance at thriving and feeding 
the bees, and preventing a monoculture developing which could end in 
disaster.  As I said I am very proud of our volunteers for their 
dedication and hard work. 
  

19th April.

Dawn Chorus heard and/or saw these:  May have missed a few but generally this was it:

Cormorant, heron, mute swan, mallard, goosander (loved the 3 males flying past), tawny owl, wood pigeon, feral rock dove, green woodpecker, greater spotted woodpecker, nuthatch, herring gull, lesser black backed gull, blackbird, song thrush, mistle thrush, robin, treecreeper, jay, magpie, crow, jackdaw, blackcap, chiffchaff, willow warbler, goldfinch, chaffinch, coal tit, blue tit, great tit, dipper, wren, goldcrest  =  33

(hedge sparrow)

15th April.  Spoilt for choice.  Mike’s History Walk and/or Otters at the Bridge.  Which one did you go for?

 

Saturday 1st April 11am met for a WOODLAND WANDER to observe the wild flowers popping up and to look for nesting birds.

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Conservation – Saturday 25 March

Dead hedged to save some of the ever widening path destroying the Blackweir Woods.  Ongoing project, so more helpers needed.

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Saturday 25th at 10:30 to plant the wild flower bulbs in Blackweir Woods.   Lovely job .  Well done.

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Saturday 18 Feb – Planted some more whips to continue the creation of our wild life hedge, and planted wild flower bulbs in the Hazel copse we coppiced before Christmas. This went really well and we had a couple of very good diggers of the hedging, and a few determined bulb planters, so that went really well.

 

Monday 23rd January   Removing epicormic growth (the suckers and shoots formed at the base of trees – especially limes).   This went very well.  There are some fabulous photos on the Facebook page.

CONSERVATION WORK Saturday, 14th January at 11am, Planted the native hedgerow whips near the ambulance station.  Keep an eye on our hedge as you go past, and see how it grows.  We all enjoyed ourselves and even dug up some modern archaeological finds.  2 to 3 inches below the surface we started seeing litter!  Presumably over time the mowing has buried these items under mown grass which has composted down into soil. We even uncovered a drain that was not on the maps. 

 

Saturday 26 November 12:00 – Conservation with the Rangers

A marvellous time was had by all.  Brief pit stop for mince pies and hot drinks, then we shouldered our tools and off we went to coppice some of the Hazels with Rangers Kevin and Jim.  Some of our hardy band sawed off the hazel trunks, while others crunched off the side shoots so that the gardeners could use the cut items for staking out plants. We might have a few of the hazels tied up into faggots and used to strengthen the river banks.   After sawing and clipping, we had a massive sort out of all the cut wood.  We piled up a load of branches in one corner as shelter for hedgehogs.  Well done also to those who sawed up some of the massive tree that had fallen down nearby.  Far too big to do in one go and most of it will be left there to provide food and shelter for nature.

 

Sunday 27 November 1am    Tree Walk led by Malcolm Frazer and Terry Davies.

This was a marvellous walk led by people who actually worked in the park and planted many of the trees we talked about.  Did you know the London Planes are not as old as you think?  At the most they will be 50 years old as  Malcolm Frazer and Terry Davies actually planted them!

Sat 15 October 11am         Glamorgan Fungus Group led a Fungus Walk.

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This went really well.  See some photos on our Gallery page.  Did you know that the park was full of hidden ecosystems?  Thanks to our Glamorgan Fungus Group friends for giving us a lovely walk through the Park and pointing out the hidden and the  unsuspected world of Fungi.

Last organised EVER, (for this year), Himalayan Balsam Event took place on the 28th August and the people involved did very well.  Well done!  We will start earlier next year, so if you see any peeping through in April/May that you think need to be pulled up quickly before the brambles and nettles grow, then please feel free to let us know.

 

Out of the Woods event on 20th August got a little damp.  A bit like last year, but thank you to everyone who went.

Tour of the Park walk went very well.

Himalayan Balsam pulling on the 28th August – thank you to all who turned up despite the confusion.  Very good job.

Himalayan Balsam pulling on the 21st August went great.  Really tackled some tough jobs.

Hamalayan Balsam Pulling on 14th August went very well.  All did a sterling job

Himalayan pulling on the 24th went well.  We did a very good job.

10th July .  Had a great time pulling the Balsam.  A lot of work got done.  Well done everyone.

 

 

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Well done to those who took part on the 26th June.  Did a really good job.  Also saw a Heron on the river and a Heron in the park by the feeder canal.  Also one of our Friends of Bute Park members spotted what we think was a pair of Scarlet Tiger Moths, but it has not been confirmed yet, but its amazing what you can find.

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