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Tuesday, 9 June 2015

The Work goes forward...

As most people who follow us regularly will already be aware, we are now a limited company and are setting up The Riddy Wood Project to facilitate our goals as a company - providing environmental education and engagement opportunities.

As WE are increasingly aware, setting up a project of this nature is not a 5 minute job! This week has been our first opportunity alongside the other commitments we both have to start putting together the infrastructure required to make our goals a reality. We both worked there yesterday, and Geoff is still on site today (Tuesday 9th June) with a group of students from Reaseheath College Countryside department doing various job, not least among them installing the first few accommodation units and making room for a 'class room'.

We arrived Sunday evening and needed to get basic accommodation set up to spend the night, we got the front wall of the first shelter block up but lost the light before the rear wall could be finished, so we improvised and just parked the car back there to allow us to hang the tarp - that's what I call a MPV! Meanwhile the students set up tents - some people!

Our camp early on Monday morning.
By the time I had to leave on Monday evening the basic structure and roof of the first accommodation unit was finished and solid - we still needed to create walls, probably hurdle walls using coppiced hazel much like we used in our initial shelter which we put up back in February while we were coppicing.

The camp site on Monday evening - the next shelter has been started to the far right, although none of the posts are upright in this picture. We are hoping to carve the fallen tree in the back ground into a feature bench. Our 'classroom' is likely to be behind the car on the left. When we arrived on Sunday evening this entire area was 6 foot deep in nettles - quite a change. We also removed a few small trees, including one which had been damaged in recent high winds.  

I'll be getting an update from Geoff later today or tomorrow about how much work they have been able to do today. Next week we'll be back there again, this time I'll be there for a bit longer. We are really excited that soon we'll be able to have visitors in to see how we are getting along and take part in our courses and activities.

A big job for us over the summer is to get some additional surveys done to record what sort of biodiversity we have on site. We are hoping that we'll have some specialist help in this as, despite my background as a ecologist, I only have experience in surveying and identifying a small proportion of the species groups we want to document. As our records grow we will be adding them to the Biodiversity pages on the Riddy Wood Website.

A Red Headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis) found while working yesterday.
We look forward to adding more pictures of both common and rare species as we find them.
We'll post more updates on how the work in Riddy Wood is progressing as we do it and look forward to welcoming the first groups there, hopefully in just a few months!


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