Trainees at Castle Bromwich Parkland

Tara is the Parkland Manager at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens and Parkland, whom we are working in partnership with as part of our Love Your River Cole (LYRiC) project.

At Castle Bromwich Parkland, Tara has been leading our Love Your River Cole Trainees in a number of practical conservation sessions, involving some interesting tasks!

Read Tara’s blog below…

I organised a Tree popping training session for the LYRiC trainees at the Castle Bromwich Parkland for 3 days over 10 – 12th May as a training exercise showing them how the tool worked as well as what could be achieved with it. I arranged to borrow 7 Tree Popping tools from Warwickshire Wildlife Trust which we put to good use removing some of the many Horse chestnut and Sycamore saplings as well as some Holly.

Oliver using a tree popper
Horse chestnut sapling removed with its roots intact

We went over the history of the ‘poppers’, their advantages and disadvantages as well as the health and safety aspects before getting stuck into the practical work. Fortune was on our side as all the recent rain ensured the ground was soft resulting in even very tall (7ft) saplings coming out with their roots intact.

We created two ‘dead’ hedges with the removed saplings and brash which creates a nice habitat for wildlife and a tidy boundary between areas.

Freya creating dead hedge
Charmion creating dead hedge

We cleared a good sized area which just starts to hint at how the avenue will look once we have opened up this section.

Area clearance – before
Area clearance – after

I held Hedgehog footprint surveying sessions between 27 – 29th April with some of the LYRiC trainees, Oliver, Charmion, Freya & Aneesha.

After an introduction to hedgehog surveying, we then went out and checked on 3 tunnels I had set up the previous night inside the historic gardens.

We then proceeded into the Parkland and set up a further 4 tunnels – choosing appropriate locations and recording the details.

Hedgehog tunnel
Aneesha and Oliver setting up a footprint tunnel

The next two days we checked on the tunnels, collecting the data and re-setting them for the following night. We looked at the footprints collected and had a go at ID’ing them.

Hedghog footprints

On the second day I gave an introduction to Reptile surveying, I went through the reptiles we would expect to find, how to ID them and what habitat they preferred. We considered the different survey methods and then took out 3 different types of survey mats into the CB Parkland.

We chose suitable locations for the mats, placed them correctly and recorded their positions. We hope to return to them during the Summer months to check for reptiles.

You can find more of Tara’s blogs on the Castle Bromwich Parkland website.

Read more about the LYRiC project here.

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