Ranger’s Blog – December 2022

12th December 2022

November was absolutely fabulous but over so very quickly. We now seem to be zooming through December and the bustle of Christmas is upon us. The last month has been excellent in terms of progress in relation to the Commons. However, I confess that my attention has been very much upon trees and tree safety so i do apologise if i have missed any of the usual things that Steve would have been on top of at this time of year (edit – we can forgive you Dan!).

I have to say that the last month has been wonderful in terms of volunteer help. I am so incredibly grateful to those of you who have been able to volunteer your time to help. Volunteers have so far been helping to create hibernacula out of the felled ash tree’s on the Tarry Path, clearing bramble from over our precious little patches of heather, clearing paths of mud and leaf litter, removing graffiti, controlling regrowth at Denny Bottom and of course the ever important litter picking.  We are now holding volunteer sessions every other week for a couple of hours on a Saturday morning. The sessions have been incredibly helpful and they are also helping us to save money on contractors. This saving is particularly helpful at this time as we are have to divert much of our budget to dealing with the large number of our ash trees which now have advanced ash dieback. I’m afraid that the summer drought really has knocked our trees for six.

Volunteers helping to clear the footpath by Bracken Cottage pond.

Equally as important is your generosity through your membership and donations to help the running of the Commons via the fabulous Friends of the Commons. The Friends have recently funded the purchase of more tools to help me manage the trees and to create even more habitat for wildlife to thrive, all this comes directly from your donations. In addition the Friends have just funded a path improvement for the Marlpit ponds to join with the Common View meadow area. So all memberships and donations really do help our community directly to enjoy the Commons safely every day.

New Marlpit path being installed.

We are now hopefully entering the dormant season as it is finally getting colder. I am trying to arrange for one last cut of the amenity grass areas so that we can go into the winter looking tidy and respectable. It has been so wet and so warm that it has been very difficult for our contractors to cut until now. I do love the winter though, it is when most of the hard work to manage and create the glades takes place which is very exciting.

I will be keeping you updated on our news in my future monthly blogs but until then, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope to meet you on the Commons at some point soon.

Daniel Colborne