Archive for the ‘Drift Reservoir’ Category

Willow Management At Drift Reservoir

March 18, 2011

It’s always a mad dash in the early year to get the willow at the various sites cut before the sap starts rising, and nesting birds start to settle. I thought I had it all under control until I was approached by Dave Parker, who is responsible for the bird-life, hides and habitats around Drift Reservoir (Grid Ref: 431295). Its less than 1km from my home across the fields, and so was too tempting a coppicing opportunity to miss.

Dave planted a reed bed to encourage water fowl to breed and provide a habitat for other wildlife some years ago and this has established really well. Unfortunately the willow on the banks surrounding the bed have also flourished, and started to encroach into the bed itself.

 

Willow Encroachment Into Reed Bed At Drift Reservoir.

When we went down to have a walk around I noticed what a fantastic willow crop this made. The willow competes for the light with the reeds and grows tall, straight and strong with no side shoots.

So, as a management plan we decided that I would come down, cut the willow each year in Dec / Jan and remove the brambles around the banks, letting new growth and more diverse species thrive.

I cut the willow in February, and Vanya and I transported the crop back to Plan-It Earth Eco Project for snedding and sorting last week (Mid March).

There are also willow along the banks which need managing, but when I last looked the fisherman seemed to have taken matters into their own hands! Looks as though I will have to be earlier next year. A sobering thought that in these times of immediate gratification, I will have to wait a year until I can rectify mistakes and another year after that to reap the harvest. Good old Mother Nature teaching me the value of correct action and patience!