Friends of Priors Hill 10 years old

Holly clearing 2010
The holly clearing starts 2010

On the 15th July 2018 it will be ten years exactly from the date of our formation.
We set off with high ideals to preserve the wonderful Priors Hill Copse and improve its biodiversity.
We have spent ten hard years removing and controlling holly growth. Following consultation with the Tree Council and other experts, over two hundred full sized trees were removed to improve light levels by reduction of the tree canopy. This successfully reversed the decline caused by nearly seventy years of neglect. During this process we’ve managed to engage the attention and support of the local community.
All this has been achieved, due to your commitment, dedication and hard work. We’ve reached all the target goals contained in the twenty-year woodland management plan and are held up as an example of excellence to other community groups.
I won’t list all the items we’ve covered in these achievements: some of you have been there since day one, every step of the way.
What I want to say is a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you. It’s been a great first ten years………here’s to the next ten!
Dick Walters
Chairman Friends of Priors Hill Copse

I would like to show you through some of those years when we had our first meeting we all had high hopes but not the finances to attain them. Things started slowly we had volunteer workdays but the wall of holly seemed impenetrable we needed to find funds to make any impact.

Holly clearing 2010
The holly clearing starts 2010

The problem became harder when we tried to dispose of the felled holly no one wanted shredded holly we tried filling muddy holes in the copse paths. Then the dog walkers complained their dogs where getting spine needles in their paws, also by removing from the site and using motorised shredders increased our carbon foot print. A solution was found which reduced our carbon foot print and increased the copse bio-diversity in the form of dead hedges.

Dead hedges and oak stools
Holly used to create dead hedges

Funds were still sparse and slow in materialising then a fantastic turn of events. Due to the hard work of our Chairman who was successful in securing a Heritage Lottery grant of £50000 which allowed us with careful management allowed us to reach all the targets in the copse management plan.

3rd Quarter 2012 (3)
Area cleared seen in 2012
3rd Quarter 2013 (3)
Same area 2013
3rd Quarter 2014 (2)
Again a year later 2014
3rd Quarter 2015
Small sign of regeneration

The work in Priors Hill will never end as with all woodlands mans created (interfered) with man must keep it up. If not you could find what we found in 2008 and not be so lucky.

 

 

 

One thought on “Friends of Priors Hill 10 years old

  1. Congratulations!
    It’s really heart-warming to read about successful reversible of our footprint in nature. Hope the community passes this enthusiasm onto their children (and children’s children) far in to the future.
    But seriously, it just goes to show that we can change our environment and management of it with the will and funds 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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