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Woodland work progressing

First of all I would like to thank the people of Newton Stewart for being so co-operative whilst the work is being carried out in the town woods. I have spoken to several people who have been pleased to see this work in progress.

The thinning at Duncree Wood is now complete. Further works will be carried out in the new year including upgrading the path.

The first stage of the tree thinning at Doonhill Wood is also nearly completed. The removal of primarily non-native sycamore has already made the northern section of the wood lighter. The paths will be temporarily scraped over to keep them in reasonable order and upgrading the paths will begin next year.

The work does not seem to have upset the resident Red Squirrel population, as during surveys by CVCWT volunteers today, 3 were seen and winter dreys were found. Several people have also reported these iconic creatures taking advantage of the free food on offer at bird tables.

A large haul of litter from Duncree Wood

The volunteers have also been very busy in tidying up the woods. Unfortunately, large amounts of litter have been picked up (see photo). It really is all of our responsibilities to keep the woodlands clear of litter, and it is sad that a few people don’t respect this.

Safety inspections of the woods have been carried out and all dangerous trees will soon be removed. The volunteers have also been cutting ivy on trees susceptible to windthrow. Ivy will not in itself normally be responsible for bringing down a healthy tree, but where trees have been drawn up due to lack of light, or where cutting adjacent trees lets more wind in, it is sensible to take precausions with ivy on trees, especially near paths or property boundaries. Ivy is a fantastic habitat for wildlife. The flowers are excellent for insects including hoverflies, and the berries provide a great source of food for birds such as blackbirds. Therefore we are only cutting ivy where necessary.

Today the contractors started thinning a few of the large conifers in the triangle behind the football field. This is only a very small amount, less than 10% of the area, but it will let a little more light in and allow the existing oak trees to grow better, plus allowing the possibility of planting some extra trees later.

More news soon…