A working bee is a Kiwi / New Zealand thing where a group of friends come together and typically do a civic task, of good...when I was a kid, it was things like painting the seats at the local rugby club.
So, this winter, we have have had a couple of very productive working bees at Underhill Wood. The overall purpose of this work has been to prune back 2x 500 yard hedges, which run down the spine of the land. The pruning will be done on a 3 year rotation - first pruning the south flank (winter 2017), then the north (winter 2018) and finally the top (winter 2018). This rotation then continues year-on-year....
This shot is of the first team:
The second working bee carried on the great work of the first - with a notable exception.
Working with my friend Dragan we constructed a hazel bridge, which connects one of the hedgerows to the block of most mature woodland. This block is about 4 acres in total and is a decent mix of native species - oak, ash, field maple, hazel. Late winter / early spring this year, I will plant honeysuckle in the hedgerow and across the hazel bridge. I am very keen to attract dormice into Underhill Wood Nature Reserve and this habitat enhancement is key.
I need to acknowledge Smallwoods (www.smallwoods.org.uk) for this idea. This fantastic charity, which I belong to, publishes a highly informative journal and the New Year 2017 edition contained a piece about dormice, hazel bridges, honeysuckle and so on.