Ramblings from Finemere Wood

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

The summer months are a time for fixing things. The wood and its adjoining meadows are left to flourish at this time of year, thus allowing them to provide a myriad of habitats for breeding birds, mammals and invertebrates.

Fortunately, there are many alluring jobs to keep the volunteers content over the warmer months. 
   
Repairing fences is one such activity, and it is one that challenges me, but luck would have it that I have many fencing experts within my team. Armed with all manner of tools: to strain wire, to cut wire and to knock in posts, this accomplished and practical squad stride off across the meadows in search of damaged fences.

These earnest volunteers are not the only mammals to be seen on a sunny Thursday in July. As I watch them go, I see not one, but two, brown hares loping through the tall grass.

The brown hare (Lepus europaeus) is distinguishable by its long black-tipped ears. It is much larger than a rabbit, with long, powerful hind legs and the capacity to run at a speed of 45mph.

Brown hare

Lepus europaeus was introduced into the United Kingdom during Roman times, or even before, and is considered now to be a naturalised species.

Unlike rabbits, the hares do not live in burrows. Mainly nocturnal, they shelter in small depressions in the ground, sleeping in any suitable place available. Here, too, their young (leverets) are born.

The open, grassy meadows, along the woodland edge, at Finemere Wood, provide the ideal habitat for these beautiful creatures. Such habitats are in decline, with an ever-growing loss of hay meadows and hedgerows.

Whilst the fencing team work upon the puzzle of fence fixing, the rest of the volunteers set about replacing rotten waymarkers. This involves much digging, followed by careful alignment, to ensure that directions through the wood are not wonky and unreliable.

These volunteers are low maintenance. Just load them up with tools and send them on their way: they get the job done with minimal fuss. Fences are fixed and ways are marked; a kind word and a slice of cake are all they require.  

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 25 July, Thursday 8 August, Thursday 22 August, Thursday 12th September, all 9.30am-3pm.

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