FPPNR Work Party Report

Trevor’s Work Party Report

Unfortunately the Summer Sunday work parties on 19th April, 14th June and 5th July were cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the suspension of volunteer activity on the Reserve. However, the 2020/21 season of work parties commenced as scheduled on 10th September and the following work has been undertaken this month:

Thursday 10th September
We worked in the East Scrub clearing the bat survey route and undertaking some clearance work around the exclosures.
We also pulled Himalayan Balsam near the river viewpoint and along Southoe Brook near where it flows into the River Great Ouse; this work is usually undertaken by our July work party.
Attendance: 9

Sunday 13th September
We cleared the footpath from the Quarry Processing Plant to Boughton Lodge Farm which is one of the Friends’ bird survey routes. This path was completely blocked at one point and a number of walkers and a cyclist who we encountered while we were working were very grateful for our efforts to make the path passable.
Attendance: 14

Sunday 27th September
We started work in the Hayling reedbed removing willow from the reedbed and cutting back some of the overhanging branches. We shall return to this area to continue this work for our next work party.
Attendance: 9

If you are interested in joining us on our work parties, please contact Trevor at friendsofpaxtonpits@hotmail.com

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Huntingdonshire District Council have made the decision to close their Countryside Service Centres to the public. They will be reviewing this policy at the end of July. Therefore, the Visitor Centre, including the toilets, at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve remain closed

All Work Parties, Events and Wildlife Surveys will cease until further notice.

The paths will remain open but please keep your distance from other people who may be out for a walk while we are in quarantine.

Thank you for your understanding in these unprecedented times.

Volunteers uplifted by ‘The Gloomy Trees’

Janet Prior reports on a new old find for the reserve…

If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise. If you go down to the woods today you’ll never believe your eyes!  This was the situation for the mid-week volunteers who ventured into the woods to erect protective stock fencing in the east scrub area of the nature reserve during January.  

Their big surprise was to find two very old and gloomy looking Apple Trees.  The age of the trees is currently uncertain but the cankers and gnarly bark suggest that they have been slowly drifting into old age, unseen for many years. 

Although the trees were nick-named ‘The Gloomy Trees’, the effect on the volunteers was far from gloomy.  Everyone looked on them with amazement and felt uplifted having discovered these awesome veterans. 

One of the trees looks quite unhealthy as it has shed its lower limbs.  However, this phenomenon, known as ‘Summer branch drop’, and is associated with weather patterns is what trees do naturally in order to prolong their life.  Hopefully it’s not too late for this tree and we can look after and enjoy them both for many more years. 

Photos of The Gloomy Trees kindly provided by Matt Hall