Category Archives: Wood

Community Litter Pick 2019

We had quite a large crowd for our litter pick – around six McDonalds employees, and 16 members of the Friends of Bourne Woods or members of the public, plus children and dogs!  The weather was much improved from earlier in the week with plenty of sunshine.  March is a really good month to do a deep clean in the wood as the undergrowth has died back leaving litter which was previously hidden, suddenly visible.

McDonalds very kindly supplied the bags, their own litter pickers, and disposed of the rubbish at the end.

After a short health and safety talk, people were furnished with litter pickers and disbursed in groups along various trails to collect whatever litter they could find.  The most unusual item this time was an eiderdown.  As always there were lots of bottles (both plastic and glass), cans, crisp packets and dog bags.  Attention was paid not just to the sides of the rides but the areas in the wood as well if accessible.

bags of litter
By the end of the two hours around 14 bags of litter were collected.

A massive thank you to all those who helped and to McDonalds for supporting the event.  This really makes a big difference to our woods, providing a cleaner and safer environment not only for the public but also to all the wildlife.

Photographs Polly Knox

Nature Notes from Bourne Wood – April 2019

I like Bluebells! Indeed, I should think that nearly everybody likes Bluebells! Of course, not to eat (this domain is reserved for the deer, badgers and squirrels of the wood) but to view – we can feast on the visual beauty of those spectacular blue swathes which epitomise a British deciduous woodland. Although the blue flowers are not yet in blossom- we have this delight to look forward to- the leaves of the plants are clearly evident, carpeting the floor with a vibrant verdant green. If you are able try to get out to admire them in the early morning- the low sunbeams highlight the greens with vivid tones which banish any remaining winter blues and bring forward thoughts of the forthcoming spring.

chiff chaff bird (phylloscopus collybita)
The chiff-chaffs arrived early-there were reports received that they were first calling in the wood on 6th March (several weeks earlier than last year). Photograph RSPB

Of course there are now many other indicators of the arrival of new season. The chiff-chaffs arrived early-there were reports received that they were first calling in the wood on 6th March (several weeks earlier than last year). They are easy to recognise with its distinctive song which they deliver clearly from good vantage points towards the tops of the trees. The name chiff-chaff is onomatopoeic so if you hear a bird calling “chiff-chaff” it is highly likely that it is a chiff-chaff rather than any other species!  The Wood Anemones are spreading across the forest floor, in a rush to flower before being shaded by the developing canopy of the trees overhead. The florets of the wild primroses are a delightful pale yellow whilst there seems to be a snowfall of the blackthorn blossom as it is blown about in little flurries having been released from those spiky twigs. So much to enjoy!

Woodland Maintenance

Bourne Wood is managed as a commercial forest by the Forestry Commission (FC), although conservation of wildlife and recreation are also important objectives.

The main purpose of forestry is to grow and harvest or fell trees for timber for a wide range of outlets and uses including for the domestic construction industry, paper production, the manufacture of panels or board, fencing and pallets and to a lesser extent, fuel. Bourne Wood produces both hardwood timber from broad-leaved species such as oak and wild cherry and softwood from conifers such as Corsican and Scots Pine and European Larch.

Many softwoods are harvested after 60 years whereas for a hardwood such as oak, the rotation may be as long as 150 years.  In addition to the felling and extraction of the final timber/tree ‘crop’ at harvestable age, a selection of trees are removed at intervals after their initial establishment to reduce the density of trees in a plantation, improve the quality and growth of the remaining trees and produce a saleable final product. This is known as thinning. Normally the first thinning is undertaken when trees have reached between 10 and14 metres in height but the exact timing is dependent on the tree species, the nature of the local environment and financial and marketing considerations.

All Forestry Commission woods are managed sustainably such that new trees are planted, or allowed to regenerate naturally, to replace those that have been felled and removed.

SKDC Local Plan

The consultation document from SKDC for the Local Plan for the next 20 years, contains two allocations of housing which could affect Bourne Wood in the future:

One area is off Cedar Drive and although access is allocated to be off Cedar Drive – who knows what will happen in the future. Additionally it is a greenfield site, a very wet field, and brings housing closer to the wood reducing the green belt around the wood (at the moment this is a grass field with cattle).

There is also an allocation off Beaufort Drive – again this will mean an increase of traffic – access is not defined – so could this encourage ‘a relief road’ and brings housing ever closer to the wood – and it is a greenfield site.

Its important people read and understand the contents of the consultation document, because this is the future of Bourne and its surrounds. Helen Powell is organising a meeting next Wednesday July 19th to discuss the plan – at 8.30pm at the Abbey Church Hall – all welcome – which may give you a better idea about the consultation form! The consolation document can be view here.

Your support is important, thank you!

Bourne Wood Booklet – Review By Dr Keith Porter

Bourne Wood: A portrayal of a wood in Kesteven. This A5 full colour booklet provides an insight into the history, natural history and forestry management of Bourne Wood, an ancient woodland in south Lincolnshire. Its contribution to nature conservation and local amenity are also outlined. Dr Keith Porter, Deputy Chief Scientist at Natural England, reviews the booklet:

Bourne Wood: A Portrayal Of A Wood In Kesteven

This attractively produced booklet is a must for anyone visiting Bourne Wood in Lincolnshire.  It packs in everything you need to understand its history from 1086 to the present day and the wildlife and facilities that the Wood offers to visitors.  The colourful guide to the plants and animals of Bourne Wood offers a taster of what you can see throughout the year and provides a fully detailed list of recorded species at the end of the booklet.

greater spotted woodpacker
The colourful guide to the plants and animals of Bourne Wood.

For visitors, it gives clear detail on parking, footpaths and facilities and includes everything you need to know for an exciting day out in the wild!  This is an excellent guide to a place that is easily accessible to people from nearby Bourne and further afield – highly recommended and great value.

Hard copies of the booklet are priced at £3 + p & p and can be obtained by e-mailing rjeffegj@yahoo.co.uk; or download low resolution pdf here.

 

Den Building Competition Take Three

Despite the rain halfway through the competition those taking part in The Friends of Bourne Wood Den Building on Sunday, had an enjoyable afternoon.

The runner-up were the Lavberts!
The runner-up were the Lavberts!

The five families used leftover materials from the thinning to create dens deep within the wood, which were then covered with bracken.  John Wilcockson, the leader of the event explained how to make the dens, suggested extras that could be added and reminded people that all of the family should fit in the den and that they should be waterproof!

The winning den, by the Bower family.
The winning den, by the Bower family.

The winning family was Eric Bower, Kat Walters and Rose and Ted Bower-Walters who had a removable door for their cosy den.   The runners-up had two seats, a cooker and a bar, while one family included a dog kennel.

children watching den building
Supervising the build!

Due to the rain, everyone was keen to get into the dens at the end as it was much drier in there!

Our house in the middle of the wood, our house.....
Our house in the middle of the wood, our house…..

Thanks go to John for running the event and our helpers, Cindy, Brian and Valerie for helping to judge and look after those taking part.

Photographs by John Wilcockson

Tree Identification Walk

The Friends of Bourne Wood held a Tree Identification Walk on a warm summer’s evening with the aim of helping people identify some of the common species found in the wood, along with some interesting facts and some of the more unusual trees.

The walk started by looking at the grand Beech trees at the five crossroads – with smooth bark these lovely trees have bright green leaves in the Spring and beautiful colours in the autumn.  After that we covered the common species of Wild Cherry, Ash, Aspen, Oak, Hazel, Blackthorn and Hawthorn amongst others.

We were told Ash had separate male and female trees, with only females having keys, how to recognise aspen with its rustling leaves, and the two different types of native Oak – English & Sessile.

Our less common species include the Wild Service tree, which is a good indicator of ancient woodland and was often used as a boundary tree, and has fruit which can be used for jams.  Also in the wood are a few small leaved lime, with distinctive flowers, the wood of which can be used for piano keys.

Around 20 people enjoyed this interesting walk, our thanks go to Mick Curtis and Richard Jefferson for leading the evening and answering all the questions.

Community Litter Pick with McDonalds

Our first joint litter pick with volunteers from McDonalds took place recently. A total of 14 pairs of helping hands collected more than eight bags of rubbish from the car park, the roadway down into the car park, the rides surrounding it, the easy access trails and the old car park.

As well as McDonalds rubbish, we collected a variety of other litter including cans, bottles, crisp packets and those persistent dog poo bags. In amongst the debris however was a huge fish head, various parts of a motorbike and a solitary sock!

Bags of litter collected on our first joint  'litter pick' with McDonalds!
Bags of litter collected on our first joint ‘litter pick’ with McDonalds!

McDonalds’ representative Sam Spencer helpfully offered to support another litter pick session later in spring and muck in with our events. We welcome this commitment wholeheartedly and urge all visitors to the Wood to please take litter home with you and ‘stick and flick’ that dog poo (never bag it and leave it). Much of the litter left behind does not disintegrate and can be a health hazard to humans and a danger to wildlife.

We love our Wood and want to do everything we can to keep it litter-free. If you would like to help support us in any way, please get in touch.

Words by Kate Starlling
Photographs by Sarah Roberts

Scavenging Day January

Our first scavenging day of the season was very well attended with 14 people coming to collect wood.

The format remained the same with people bringing their own wheelbarrows and borrowing saws to collect the wood from the previously felled trees – which was mostly ash.

martin cutting wood
Martin cutting wood.

Collection was slightly easier this time as the access tracks were all well maintained paths, and not so far from the car park and there was plenty of wood.

Several people had more than one barrowful;  in fact the energetic people had 3 barrowloads!  It was a very successful day, which those taking part thoroughly enjoyed.

It is a good way to enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise while finding some reasonably priced wood.  The days are always popular with a regular clientele.

Photographs by Chris Neal

Why Are Trees Felled In Bourne Wood?

Bourne Wood is managed as a commercial forest by the Forestry Commission (FC), although conservation of wildlife and recreation are given more precedence in recognition of higher public usage compared to the large, more remote conifer forests in the uplands with fewer visitors. FC was established in 1919 to address Britain’s declining woodland and timber resources, a trend that had commenced in the Middle Ages and had reached an all-time low by the beginning of the 20th Century. This decline was compounded by the outbreak of World War 1 when the country was no longer able to rely on timber imports.

The main purpose of forestry is to grow and harvest or fell trees for timber for a wide range of outlets and uses including for the domestic construction industry, paper production, the manufacture of panels or board, fencing and pallets and to a lesser extent, fuel. Almost four million tonnes of wood are harvested every year from England and Scotland’s public forests. Forestry supports local rural economies by creating employment and supporting forestry contractors who both make use of local facilities and services.

Bourne Wood produces both hardwood timber from broad-leaved species such as oak and wild cherry and softwood from conifers such as Corsican and Scots Pine and European Larch.  The vast majority of timber extraction from UK forests is from softwoods, many of which are from plantations established in the 20th Century. Some softwoods have been planted into ancient woodland sites such as at Bourne.  All Forestry Commission woods are managed sustainably such that new trees are planted, or allowed to regenerate naturally, to replace those that have been felled and removed.

Many softwoods are harvested after 60 years whereas for a hardwood such as oak, the rotation may be as long as 150 years.  In addition to the felling and extraction of the final timber/tree  ‘crop’ at harvestable age, a selection of trees are removed at intervals after their initial establishment to reduce the density of trees in a plantation, improve the quality and growth of the remaining trees and produce a saleable final product. This is known as thinning. Normally the first thinning is undertaken when trees have reached between 10 and14 metres in height but the exact timing is dependent on the tree species, the nature of the local environment and financial and marketing considerations.

Acknowledgement contributions from John Wilcockson.