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Wednesday 2nd April 2014
The application by Terena Plowright of The Greening Campaign for a change of use of Johnston’s Coppice, the nature reserve behind Crookhorn Technology College, to ‘mixed use of woodland and natural pet cemetery’ was refused on 18th March 2014. The intention was for the pet cemetery to finance management of the woodland.
There were a number of objections and the application was refused because ‘In the absence of adequate information the Local Planning Authority is not satisfied that the proposal will not be detrimental to the maintenance of the populations of protected species concerned at a favourable conservation status.’
The principal species of concern is the Hazel Dormouse although, according to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, eleven different species of bats have also been recorded in the area, including the very rare Bechstein’s bat.
An eight-year management plan has been prepared and the first section of hazel was coppiced early in 2013. The PAWARA Environment Group has assisted with clearance work. Woodland management activities ceased last year when volunteer work parties were cancelled due to a lack of numbers and Hampshire County Council withdrew the support of a Countryside Warden, who had been able to assist with a chainsaw, due to budget constraints. Terena still intends to manage the coppice and is waiting for the lease to be finalised.
Tuesday 1st April 2014
Hundreds of tadpoles (there could be thousands; I didn’t count them) are in the shallow edges of Penjar Pond and movement of the water can be seen from several yards away.
The Environment Group was formed in 2005 and the original tools were purchased with a grant. Over the years some of the tools have worn out or broken and now need to be replaced. No tools have been purchased by PAWARA since 2005.
The tools we particularly need are:
- Digging Spades
- Digging Forks
- Tree Planting Spades
- Brushing Slasher
- Bill Hook
We also need all sizes of gardening gloves.
If you have any spare tools that you no longer need and would be willing to donate to PAWARA to help us to continue our work in the area or you would like more information, please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact a committee member.
All donations would be gratefully received and put to good use.
Our most successful morning yet with nine bags of Spanish bluebells removed by four volunteers. Now that the majority of the invaders have been eradicated it is easier to see the English bluebells although some of those remaining appear to be hybrids.
A few additional helpers would have enabled us to take out some of the sycamore seedlings/saplings that have become prominent now they are in leaf. That work will probably have to wait until next year as we have no more work parties scheduled for Sandy Dell this year.
Unfortunately, our enthusiasm for conservation is not shared by all of the neighbours. As we entered from Privett Road a heap of fresh grass cuttings had been tipped over the hedge and our first job of the day was to remove sycamore branches thrown over a fence into the stream. We also saw a wheelie bin full of weeds being emptied onto the side of the road opposite.
A carrier bag of litter hanging on the dog waste bin suggested Gary had been out recently and he had clearly been thorough because no litter was visible either in Sandy Dell or the opposite side of Privett Road.
We spoke to a lady who was taking a bunch of Spanish bluebells from her garden to an elderly relative. After telling us what a good job we were doing looking after the area she told us that a month ago there were four ducklings on Penjar pond. Two Mallard drakes were feeding on the pond this afternoon. There was no sign of the duck or ducklings, but there was a multitude of well-fed and very active tadpoles.
Tuesday 8th April 2014
The native English bluebells we planted in Marrelsmoor Coppice in November are flowering.
If you would like to see a more established display it is worth walking through Johnston’s Coppice to the Woodsedge end.