Friday, 26 October 2012

The Cowshed

We call the middle section of Filnore Woods the Cowshed Field because there used to be an old cowshed at the foot of the slope.  Nowadays the site of the cowshed is overgrown with brambles.
But things are changing.  We have started work on removing the brambles, which are in plentiful supply at Filnore.  When this has been achieved we may be able to use the foundations of the old cowshed as a base for something interesting: a barbecue site? an oak-framed barn?  a concert hall?  Any other suggestions?  Think adventurously and send a comment. 
Can you make out Guy, Brett, Dave and Steve cutting brambles and piling them up?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Stream of consciousness

You may not have realised there was a stream flowing through Filnore Woods.  In summer it often dries up, though not this year, and the banks have become very overgrown.  On our work morning today a lot of fallen trees and tangled undergrowth were cleared to let more light to the stream banks and to move silt and dead wood from the stream bed to prevent flooding.
 Rex and Allan tackling the undergrowth

Alan heaving out some junk
The cleared banks should be colonised by
smaller plants now that more light can get through

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Grassland at Filnore Woods

The grass has been mown, baled and carted away.  This is essential to maintain the grassland at Filnore as a habitat for wild flowers and for all the insects that flourish on them. 
On very fertile land, grass and more vigorous plants crowd out the smaller more interesting plants.  Removing the grass helps to reduce the fertility slightly.  Not so productive from an agricultural pont of view but of course silage production is not what we are aiming at here. Our aim is to increase the abundance and variety of wild flowers and invertebrates.
You can just make out the tower of St Mary's Church behind some trees in the centre of the picture, and Oldbury power station in the middle distance on the left.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Youth involvement

You will be glad to hear that some of the youff of Thornbury appreciate the facility of Filnore Woods Community Woodland.  How do we know?

Some attempts were made to clear up
And it's good if you like the fresh air rather than frowsting by the TV.
Still if you do go up there, it's nice if you can take your rubbish away with you. 
Saves us clearing it.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Keeping the paths open

Here are some of our volunteers clearing the encroaching vegetation on one of the paths through Filnore Woods. 

We could do with a bit more help so if you have been looking for a healthy outdoor activity, with a positive impact on local facilities please come along. 

We have a work morning from 10.00 am till 12.30 pm on the Second Sunday and Fourth Wednesday of every month. 

Check for more details by clicking on "Volunteering?" above right. Next work morning Sunday 14th October.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Autumn reds and yellows

Most trees are still green but the odd patch of bramble, elder and dogwood is beginning to turn. 
The framework of most leaves is brown and they only look green because they are full of chlorophyll. The chlorophyll is such a strong colour that it masks the yellow xanthophyll and orange beta-caroteine, which are actually there all through the summer but hidden. So when the leaves stop producing chlorophyll at the end of the growing season, these yellow and orange colours show through.
The red and purple colours, though, are caused by the breakdown of sugars producing pigments called anthocyanins. This occurs most when sunny days are followed by cold nights.