Residents of Chiseldon, near Swindon are calling on helpers to come and plant trees on Sunday 15 January at local beauty spot Chiseldon Washpool from 10.30am onwards.
For the past five years the community group Chiseldon WARP (Washpool Area Restoration Project) has worked hard to restore what was a dark and silent spot, overgrown with self-seeded trees and dense scrub, into a sanctuary for wildlife and a breathing space for local people.
Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has been offering them support and advice and, following many improvements, a wide variety of wildlife has come flooding back to the area ranging from butterflies to frogs, dragonflies to deer.
Now WARP wants to plant more than 100 metres of new hedgerow and about 100 hazel trees as the latest phase of this on-going development.
The Trust’s Community Wildlife Officer Neil Pullen says: “The hazel trees will be planted on one end of the Church Bank and will form a coppice under storey to the mature ash trees that are growing there already.
“The group have already planted a number of ash trees to grow on as mature standards and under planted these with bluebells to provide spring flowers. A few fruit trees and a small row of specimen trees will complete the planting.
“The native hedgerow (a mixture of shrubs such a hawthorn, blackthorn, field maple, wayfaring tree and spindle) will be planted to grow on as a low hedge.
“Why not join us for all or part of the day – you can plant a single tree or a small group. The hospitality and lovely cakes are famous. Bring a spade or a fork, and wear old clothes and stout shoes. No experience is necessary as there will be plenty of people on hand to help you. All are welcome.”
Park in Strouds Hill car park and make the short walk down the hill using the path that runs in front of the cottages to the hidden gem that is the Washpool.
Picture by Darin Smith WWT: Frogs have made themselves at home in the ponds