10 March 2018

Improving wildlife habitats with Friends of Ham Lands (10 March 18)

Friends of Ham Lands (FoHL) have sessions on the second Saturday of each month where we venture into Ham Lands to clear important sections of it to improve the wildlife habitats.  A focus of this is to keep the grasslands clear of scrub and connected to each other so that butterflies can move between them.

In March we tackled a section quite close to the junction of Riverside Drive and the footpath leading to Teddington Lock.

The map we were working to showed a path from the grasslands to that footpath but it was not very visible on the ground and I could see no sign of it at all from the Teddington footpath end. We had to go into the grasslands, find the path at that end and try and battle our way through.

The picture at the top shows what we started with. The path almost disappears under the twin challenge of brambles on the left and saplings on the right.

We tackled both and as I had some sturdy loppers I chose to tackle the saplings and small trees. The ground was very mossy on the left and I wanted to get more sunlight in there for the grass and, ultimately the butterflies.

The picture on the right shows some of the team in action. Some others were behind me and some of braver ones were beyond that group deep in brambles.

It was a very successful and rewarding session. I took this picture from about where the path disappeared in the top picture looking back to the open grasslands.

We even managed to cut our way through to the Teddington Lock footpath.

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