The BUCK WOODIES group is small and friendly and the tasks can be arranged to suit all levels of fitness and interests. Some of the tasks we have carried out include:
CLEARING HOLLY: Holly is a useful woodland shrub, providing all year colour and food and shelter for a variety of wildlife. However in some places it is getting out of hand and growing over footpaths. We have a steady programme of cutting it back to provide better access, and our work makes quite a difference.
FALLEN TREES: High winds often break large branches off trees which always seem to fall across footpaths. If they are not too large we will remove the debris, and create new wildlife habitats with the dead branches.
DRY STONE WALLING: The ancient field boundaries and other walls around Buck Wood fall down or are vandalised and need repair. The skills for rebuilding these walls can soon be learned and it is satisfying to look back on a job well done.
FOOTPATHS: We aim to keep as many footpaths as possible in good repair. This has included clearing them of mud and fallen leaves, and even building a small bridge to avoid a very boggy area.
PONDS: We have improved a wetland area by clearing trees and digging small ponds. In other places natural springs have been used as the basis for creating ponds.
BALSAM BASHING: Himalayan Balsam is an invasive alien plant that threatens to take over parts of the wood. It can be controlled by pulling up the plants, an activity that is not too strenuous but is very satisfying.
PLANTING: From time to time we obtain grants for planting out native bulbs, wildflowers and trees. These native species improve the variety of woodland flora.
OPEN AIR SCHOOL: One of the first tasks the Friends undertook was clearing part of the site of this pioneering school. Now it just needs a periodic tidying up to prevent the woodland from hiding the site again.