The Friends of Thorne Community Wood write:
The warm, wet weather has seen the grass and other undergrowth go crazy, keeping the Friends of Thorne Community Wood busy making sure paths and amenities like benches are accessible and clear. The grass cutter has also been down and cut the grass along the main drives. This was a partial cut, intended to keep the paths open whilst causing the minimum disturbance to wildlife. A full cut will be done later in the year, when the plants have finished flowering and outside of breeding season for birds.
The grassy areas are literally abuzz during the sunny weather, with wild bees and many other insects visiting the flowering plants. Particularly noticeable this year is the variety of insect species present, which is especially obvious with the butterflies. The wood is fortunate to contain many different habitats from seasonal ponds, dense woodland to open meadow areas. Management practices such as leaving dead wood on site and reducing the cutting of vegetation also help create healthy ecosystems.
Even plants which we may consider a weed or nuisance, such as nettles and thistles, are important foodstuffs or homes for many animals. For example, the common nettle (Urtica dioica) is a food plant for the caterpillars of some of our most well known butterflies, including the peacock and red admiral.
The volunteers have also been continuing work on the Coronation Trail. If you have walked around the wood recently you may have seen some of the posts that have already been installed. They have been decorated by schools, churches and other local groups, and are looking fantastic. The trail is still under construction, with more posts to come. Watch this space for more info.
The Friends are always on the lookout for more volunteers. There are many ways to help out, such as helping to run events, undertaking practical conservation work, or assisting with admin or fundraising activities. For more information about the wood, or for details on how to get involved, you can contact the Friends by leaving a message on 07902 772695, email at email@example.com or by getting in touch on their Facebook page.