Yesterday eight of us, including two from Hastings Conservation Volunteers, continued clearing the SE part of Canal Bank (Compartment 5). This entailed the felling of some small trees to let in more light and clearing access to the canal in order to regenerate reed growth where it has been suppressed by sprawling scrub.
A few gaps will be cut along the canals’ west bank over the next year. The plan is not to eliminate scrub – it provides valuable wildlife habitat – but to increase diversity by getting a better balance between it and reed.
Cutting back many years’ tangle of blackthorn and bramble is very difficult. We expect some of these cleared areas to grow up again with nettles, bramble and elder which can be cleared quite easily every few years.
While we were working, several Goldcrests were calling in the trees above us, a Cetti’s Warbler singing from the reeds and a Water Rail screaming in the flooded scrub near “Glenview”.