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Coombe Heath – The return of the gorse bashing!

March 11, 2010

The Three Gorsateers

 A day of gorse clearance, giraffe vertebrae, woodpecker wooeing, and an unpredictable fire.

Nothing like a bit of labelling to start the day

Thursday 11th March

Started the day helping a volunteer from UHP label up some leaflets, after about 15 minutes we’d had enough of that so went outside to do something a little less soul destroying, he’s probably still there now!

Before the big bash!

When we arrived at Coombe Heath and were greeted with a large pile of cut gorse, courtesy of Nikkii, Trina and Josh’s hard work yesterday.  The first job was to make a fire to burn the cut gorse, without burning the whole site, although we did have a few near misses, which were expertly controlled by Hannah and Sam before we made it onto the news.

After we cleared yesterdays pile we set about creating a larger one of our own, to pass the time we created our own trivia game, with excellent questions like ‘How many vertebrae does a Giraffe have in its neck?’ answers on a postcard!

The aftermath

After lunch we had a stroll around the site to look at other areas which have or haven’t been managed recently, these were mainly a large area which  has been managed by controlled burning, and is recovering well with melinea, young gorse and some ling heather, but not much.  We also looked at an area where sand lizards have previously been released unsuccesfully due to their 95% mortality rate, and had a quick look at a huge area which used to be covered in Rhody and listened to two woodpeckers amongst the silver birch.

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