Ramblings from Finemere Wood

Wood anemone by Guy Edwardes/2020VISION

Charlotte Karmali brings the latest news from the volunteers at Finemere Wood.

Love was in the air as the volunteers met this Valentine’s day in the heart of Finemere Wood.

The sun shone brightly, warming us to the core; birdsong echoed through the trees, delighting our souls; tiny shoots of flowers, emerging, promising new life, new hope. There was a great sense of camaraderie, all inner turmoil set aside for the day. Our joy to be here, together, paramount.

Powered by these positive emotions, and armed with loppers and saws, we headed off into the wood for a day of “scalloping” along the eastern ride.

Woodland scallop

Scalloping woodland edge at Finemere Wood by Charlotte Karmali

A scallop is a lay-by shaped area cut into the woodland edge, which is cleared completely of vegetation. The resulting influx of sunlight allows new growth of shrubs and flowers, thus creating a varied structure to the woodland edge. 

Scallops are cut in rotation along the rides, resulting in a rich mix of vegetation at a variety of  stages of growth. These open, but sheltered spaces, right on the edge of the wood, are so important to the survival of invertebrates, and in particular to the many butterflies found here. 

Pete Bray

Pete Bray at Finemere Wood by Charlotte Karmali

Meet Pete, our 'boss', North Buckinghamshire Reserves Officer, under whose guidance we volunteer to manage this rich and beautiful habitat.

In post since June of last year, and a huge asset to our team, Pete is full of new ideas. He exudes an aura of calm, no more so than when he is working with big machines.

The latest addition, a chainsaw mill, for cutting tree trunks into planks made its first visit to Finemere this month. Pete, together with David Richardson, a volunteer with the knowledge, talent and skill of all things wood, take on a new venture to create exquisite things from the trees we have cut.

Meanwhile, two scallops completed, and dead hedges constructed around the edges with the cut vegetation, the team stand back to admire their work.

There is the usual healthy competition as to whose section of the hedge is best, as we pack up our belongings and head for our cars.

A perfect day in a perfect place with a perfect bunch of volunteers.

Come and join the Finemere Wood volunteers. Everyone's welcome and no experience is necessary!

Email Charlotte for further information

Next Work Party Dates: Thursday 28 February, Thursday 14 March, Thursday 28 March, Thursday 11 April; 9.30am-3pm.