Sat, 26 Jun | Lily Pond, Breach Common, Shaftesbury

Breach Common Regular Working Party

The Friends of Breach Common have re-started their Saturday morning working parties to continue through the summer. Work includes - pulling Himalayan Balsam; reducing brambles, nettles & bracken; and in November pruning/felling a small number of trees.
Breach Common Regular Working Party

Time & Location

26 Jun, 10:00
Lily Pond, Breach Common, Shaftesbury

About the Event

Lockdown is over and Frob is back. Join in on Saturdays starting 29th May at 1000 - meet at the Lily Pond. If you wish to join the working parties looking after Breach Common for the benefit of yourself, your dog, the wildlife and bees please read on. Please help us to continue last years work to eradicate the Himalayan Balsam from Breach Common. The Working Parties start on Saturday 29th May 1000 and continue through the summer. There is a lot to do so please join in. Just turn up or if you have queries please contact the group by email on breachcommon@outlook.com

Summary of achievements to date:

  1. We held a Zoom meeting to discuss the report from Darwin Ecology and the contributions were all positive. We are now implementing the Management Plan proposed by Darwin Ecology;
  2. Himalayan Balsam (HB) and volunteers. We had in total about 100 volunteers who every Saturday spent time pulling up the HB on the Common. This prolific plant has about 800 seeds from each flower. So it has the potential to take over large areas of the Common. Last year we prevented 20 million seeds being set by pulling up over 25,000 plants. This will allow native plants like the Rose Bay Willow Herb to flourish.
  3. Ponds. In April we dug out the top pond which fills up after rain but it was dry in the dry period. After the recent downpours it has now filled up again. We have been keeping then Lily Pond clear of weeds;
  4. We used a big rake on the front of a mini digger to selectively pull up brambles on small parts of the Common. In a small group we have followed up in some of the cleared areas and removed the bramble roots left behind by the digger.

This years program:

  • Pulling up HB - this is a 3-5 year project;
  • keeping the cleared areas free of brambles, Nettles and bracken etc so that a grass greensward can be developed;
  • In November selectively prune/fell a small number of trees. This will include removing nuisance trees like the Sycamore;

Watch out for the deer. We have noticed more deer grazing.Calculation of HB plants pulled up. I estimate that in 1 hour one person can pull up 60 plants. So 10 people for 2 hours can pull up 1,200 plants. We had about 4 months of working parties so thats about 21 days. That makes about 25,200 plants or 20,000,000 seeds prevented from germinating.

John Rutter for the Friends of Breach Common

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