Wild City Action Team

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Join our wonderful group of volunteers who are banding together to restore and maintain high quality local wildlife sites within Bristol as part of My Wild City.

Our Wild City Action Team are working to help manage the diverse range of local wildlife sites across Bristol. From grassland meadows to deciduous woodland, we are using a mixture of traditional and modern methods to help maintain some of the best wildlife sites of the city. The group will be heading out to various sites around Bristol on two Tuesdays and one Saturday of every month. 

Whether you are interested in wildlife conservation, learn new skills or would just like to spend a day getting some fresh air in a beautiful spot in the city, then this is the team for you!

Contact Us

Anybody interested in joining our Wild City Action Team on the mounds or any future work days please contact Rosie Maple for more information - rosie.maple@avonwildlifetrust.org.uk

 

Latest work days

SEPTEMBER

Tuesday 6th September – Hay cut/raking off - Netham Park, Barton/Lawrence Hill

We will be joining the friends of Netham Park once again this year, to aid in raking up the cuttings from the species rich wildflower bank. A truly urban wildlife refuge – the wildflower bank boasts an array of species including scabious, common centaury, common knapweed, yarrow and St. Johns wort. We will be removing the cuttings to prevent them rotting down in situ and adding unwanted nutrients back to the soil. This will ensure that the bloom will be as spectacular next year.

Saturday 24th September - Hay Cut @ Stockwood open space, Stockwood

We will be using a mixture of traditional manual and power tools to complete a hay cut of the wildflower meadow areas at Stockwood open space. The site comprises semi-ancient woodland, with wildflower glades within. While the council can cut the accessible amenity grassland, we will be cutting the inaccessible woodland glades.

 

AUGUST

Tuesday 9th August – Hay cut using the bar mower - Hengrove mounds, Hengrove

We will be using the bar mower to conduct an annual hay cut at Hengrove mounds. We will be targeting a different area of the grassland this year to ensure that all parts of the site are cut on a rotation.

Tuesday 23rd August – Hay Cut - Stockwood open space, Stockwood

We will be using a mixture of traditional manual and power tools to complete a hay cut of the wildflower meadow areas at Stockwood open space. The site comprises semi-ancient woodland, with wildflower glades within. While the council can cut the accessible amenity grassland, we will be cutting the inaccessible woodland glades.

Saturday 27th August – Hay cut - Justin Smith’s meadow, Ashton Court

We will be using traditional scythes to cut some of the more sensitive areas of Justin’s meadow at Ashton Court estate. Certain features of old wildflower grassland prevent them from being cut easily with large machinery – e.g. large anthills and uneven ground. Scythes are very good at cutting the awkward areas especially mowing around the anthills without damaging them.

 

JULY

Tuesday 12th July – Thistle pulling and weeding @ Gainsborough square, Lockleaze

Gainsborough square has recently received investment for regeneration including the sowing of a number of wildflower beds surrounding the new play area. We will be encouraging local residents to join the WCAT’s as we improve the health of the wildflower beds by pulling out any thistles or large weeds that have shot up following all the wet, warm weather we have had recently. This work will be completed in time for the Lockleaze festival in two weeks time.

Saturday 25th June – Himalayan balsam pulling - Eastwood Farm, Brislington

We will be heading to this beautiful nature reserve on the river Avon in Brislington, to pull up the alien invasive species, Himalayan balsam from the hay meadow on site. This will be done manually using gloves and collecting the vegetation in ton bags to be disposed of offsite.

 

JUNE

Tuesday 14th June – Controlling weeds and bramble regrowth - Hawkfield Meadow, Hartcliffe/Hengrove

We will be using our bar mower (or power scythe) to cut the tall herbs and other weeds that have sprung up following the scrub clearance that was done last winter. By cutting and removing the vegetation we are effectively stripping nutrients from the soil, and allowing more light and space for any slower growing grass and wildflower seedlings to flourish. Wildflowers like nutrient poor soil as it prevents them being outcompeted by the fast growing weeds and course grasses.

Tuesday 26th July + Saturday 30th July – Creeping thistle topping - Dundry slopes, Hartcliffe

We will be heading back to this beautiful local wildlife site on the edge of south Bristol to begin topping the creeping thistle in the wildflower glades. Creeping thistle, although a good nectar source for insects, can become rampant and dominant if left unchecked; this eventually will lead to a loss of floral diversity in the area. We will be using a mixture of scythes and brush cutters to do this task.

Tuesday 28th June – Himalayan balsam pulling - Ashton Court Estate

We will be spending another day pulling up Himlayan balsam at this wonderful Bristol gem of a local wildlife site. Ashton Court boasts hectares of wildflower meadows, complete with a healthy population of green winged orchids. We will be manually removing this invasive plant from the woodland edge habitat before it spreads into the meadows.

 

MAY

Tuesday 3rd May – My Wild Business - Gloucester road

The WCAT will be working with some of the other volunteers involved in the My Wild City project, to help install lots of wildflower beds on Gloucester road. We will be filling the newly constructed planters with soil, ready for plug plants.

Tuesday 17th May + Tuesday 31st May – Step building - Northern slopes, Knowle/Bedminster

We will be constructing some steps to improve the access up to ‘the Bommie’, a local wildlife site that includes parkland with scattered wildflower meadow areas, woodland and a stream. The slope up to the site is steep and gets very muddy in the winter. We will be using a simple construction technique to put in a flight of simple steps.

Saturday 21st May – Low level bramble clearance and grass cutting - Coombe Brook valley, Fishponds

We will be taking our scythes to the grassy glade at this local nature reserve. The meadow has not been managed for its wildflowers before now. We will be cutting back some encroaching bramble scrub and doing an early grass cut to remove some of the fertility and allow more space and light to any slower growing perennial wildflowers.

 

APRIL

Tuesday 5th April – Early grass cut - Dundry slopes, Hartcliffe

We will be heading back to cut the grass in the wildflower glades on Dundry slopes. These areas have not been managed for their wildflower meadows for a very long time and will require a number of grass cuts this year in order to remove the thatch and improve the structure of the sward for the wildflower species found there e.g. Dyer’s greenweed, devil’s bit scabious and sneezewort.

Saturday 9th April – Plug planting and seeding - Long Cross Tip, Lawrence Weston

We will be heading back to this interesting brownfield, local wildlife site next to the community farm. Following the scrub clearance last winter, we will be giving the new meadow the best start possible by sowing some wildflower seeds and adding some plug plants provided by Bristol Zoo.

Tuesday 19th April – Hedgerow planting - Royate Hill, Greenbank

We will be planting some hazel, hawthorn and rose whips at the railway embankment nature reserve in the Greenbank/Easton area. Over the next 10 years these whips will grow and thicken into a hedgerow that will provide food, nesting habitat and refuge for a variety of wildlife such as birds and small mammals.

 

MARCH

Tuesday 8th March – Highridge Common – Early grass cut / tree planting / seeding

Following scrub clearance tasks earlier in the year, we will be heading to Highridge common to combat any re-growth of bramble shoots, do an early grass cut and get some wildflower seed down upon our newly cleared areas. There will also be a few trees to plant – so a mixed task day all round.

Saturday 12th March – Badock’s Wood – Early grass cut

We will be teaming up with the friends of Badock’s wood group once more do a spring grass cut. By clearing any rank and/or overgrown grass from the wildflower patches before the start of the growing season we are giving the wildflowers the best possible start to the year, with more light and space to grow.

Tuesday 22nd March – Dundry slopes – Early grass cut

We will be heading back to cut the grass in the wildflower glades on Dundry slopes. These areas have not been managed for their wildflower meadows for a very long time and will require a number of grass cuts this year in order to remove the thatch and improve the structure of the sward for the wildflower species found there e.g. Dyer’s greenweed, devil’s bit scabious and sneezewort.

 

FEBRUARY

Tuesday 9th February – Tree Planting at Crox Bottom

We will be working with the One Tree Per Child team once more to help plant 750 native tree species at Crox bottom nature reserve (just off the A4174, Hartcliffe way). We will be planting slow growing species like oak and lime, extending the coverage of the existing woodland on site.

Saturday 13th February – Coppicing task day at Coombe brook nature reserve

We will be coppicing hazel and thinning some of the understory vegetation along the river bank. This local nature reserve has not been managed for some time, we will be working to allow more light to reach the woodland floor, and re-opening paths that have been engulfed by holly bushes. We will be creating dead hedges with any brash, however volunteers are welcome to take any coppice stems away if needed.

Tuesday 23rd February – Royate Hill – Scrub management

Royate hill is an old railway embankment that contains scrub and wildflower grassland habitat. We will be knocking back some of the encroaching bramble scrub, as well as removed a number of undesirable species of shrub such as cotoneaster.

 

JANUARY

Saturday 9th January – Badocks wood – Coppicing hazel

We will be teaming up with the friends of Badock’s wood group to start coppicing a bank of hazel bushes. Coppicing is the practice of removing all the stems of a tree (around 5 – 12 years after planting or last coppice) to ground level, leaving a small stump or coppice stool. This newly created woodland glade allows the woodland ground flora to flourish after years of shading. Volunteers are welcome to take some coppice stems away if needed. E.g. allotment beanpoles, carving wood, lathe work.

Tuesday 12th January – Hawkfield meadow – clearing of brash following scrub clearance

Hawkfield meadow lies off the ring road near Hartcliffe/Hengrove. Recent scrub removal has left a lot of debris on the ground – this mustn’t be allowed to rot down and enrich the soil as this would only encourage the growth of undesirable weed species like nettles, thistles and docks. We will be tackling this problem with rakes and pitchforks, raking off the mulch in preparation for sowing with wildflower seed next spring.

Tuesday 26th January – Manor Woods / Malago valley – Coppicing Hazel

We will be heading out on our second coppicing day of the year at this beautiful semi-ancient woodland in Bedminster down/Bishopsworth. Some of the hazel here has not been managed for several decades. We will be thinning out the coppice stands on the river bank using bow saws. Volunteers are welcome to take some coppice stems away if needed. E.g. allotment beanpoles, carving wood, lathe work.

 

DECEMBER

Tuesday 1st December - Feed Bristol - scrub cutting

We will be cutting back the ever encroaching bramble that is threatening to smother the field boundaries at our community growing project, Feed Bristol. We will be using a range of hand held tools for this one - bramble scythes, slashers and loppers. Come and join us make this wonderful communal space a better home for nature.

Saturday 12th December - Okebourne road open space - in collaboration with One Tree Per Child (OTPC) and the Forest of Avon (FOA)

This week we will be joining forces with OTPC and FOA at Okebourne road open space in Brentry to get involved in some woodland management and improvement tasks! We will be helping improve the floral diversity of the space by introducing some woodland edge plug plants, as well as joining the FOA guys in the afternoon to coppice the hazel woodland. Come and learn about this traditional skill, why it is good for wildlife and learn about some of the applications and uses for coppice stands. OTPC will also be planting some trees around the play area - so between us we will have made real progress in improving the management of this public space.

Tuesday 15th December - Okebourne road open space - finishing the grass cut

We will be returning to Okebourne road this week to finish off the grass cut of the meadow using the power scythe. The area in question contains a number of interesting species (cowslip, agrimony, knapweed, silverweed) that are in danger of disappearing due to lack of regular cutting or grazing. Removing the course grass thatch allows the wildflower species enough light and space to grow more easily next Spring.

 

NOVEMBER

Tuesday 3rd November - Netham Park

We will be finishing up with the hay cut of the Netham park wildflower bank. Netham park sits in the heart of inner city Bristol, a large amenity grassland park with planted woodland and wildflower meadow banks. Our team will be going in to clear the areas already cut this year - giving the wildflowers the best chance to flourish next season.

Saturday 14th November - Long Cross Tip

We will be heading to the beautiful brownfield site near Lawrence Weston to conduct some scrub management work. As we head into the depths of Winter we can start to manage the ever encroaching scrubby plants like bramble, hawthorn and blackthorn in a wildlife friendly way - ensuring a good balanced structure of trees, scrub and grassy glades.

Tuesday 17th November - Lamplighters Marsh

We will be working on another beautiful brownfield site - stretching along the portway in Shirehampton. The area comprises a number of different habitat types including marshland, dry and wet grassland as well as scrubby and woodland areas. We will be pushing back some of the scrub using scythes, loppers and slashers, opening up the area to halt the loss of the important grassland habitats.