Spring 2010 News

about the wood, dynamic - By fosh_admin on Sunday, April 25, 2010 - 21:01

Visitors to the wood will have noticed that some conservation work has been carried out over the winter. It seems appropriate at this time to explain the current situation regarding the wood and the surrounding arable land.

Firstly, some important milestones have been reached and are worthy of note:

In 2001 Sharphill wood was designated as a “site of importance for nature conservation” (SINC) and noted as a “mature, mixed deciduous woodland of botanical and zoological interest”.

In 2009 Nottinghamshire County Council recognised the footpaths leading to, and within, the wood as legal rights of way for pedestrian access.
In January 2010 the wood gained the status of “Local Nature Reserve (LNR)”.LNR status gives the local authority (Rushcliffe Borough Council) greater powers of protection for the wood and the land around it.

Rushcliffe borough council (RBC) appointed Notts Wildlife Trust (NWT) to maintain and improve the wildlife habitat and a five year plan was drawn up, in conjunction with the “friends group” of local residents. (Friends of Sharphill Wood group).

Some conservation work has been carried out over the last two years. This involved NWT staff, the friends group and professional contractors.

Hedgerow maintenance including the planting of approx 1200 hedgerow plants was carried out by the friends group in 2009 and paid for by RBC.

The removal of sycamore saplings, which was recently completed by a professional tree surgeon, is an effort to establish a shrubby layer of native species (Hazel, Hawthorne, Holly, Blackthorn and Wild Privet), which will give birds and other wildlife more cover. It is hoped that most of this will be achieved by natural regeneration, however, some planting is planned in order to speed up the process.

Due to the increasing popularity of the wood some work has been done to decrease erosion. This includes way-marking footpaths and will continue with the laying of woodchip and the construction of a series of steps at the southern-most entrance to the wood (nearest A52).

As part of the mitigation regarding the granting of outline planning permission, on the land to the west of Melton Road (A606), certain requirements were made of the developers regarding Sharphill Wood and the surrounding arable land. Draft proposals as to the green infrastructure were made public. These include the creation of a 35 hectare country park and wildlife area to the east and north of the wood and a buffer zone to the west and south. These will be planted with native species grassland and wildflowers, hedgerows will be maintained and any gaps filled.

Additional tree planting and creation of cycle paths are also in the plans.
Full details of the draft proposals and the management plan can be viewed on the website.

The friends of Sharphill wood have regular meetings with representatives of RBC and NWT, and will continue to be an independent public voice in all matters regarding the wood and surrounding area. Membership of the group is open to all and can be gained by filling in the members form on the website.

Picture by Richard Steer