Nacton: Volunteers help boost woodland wildlife at Nacton Shore

Volunteers working with rangers Lynda Gilbert and Chris Ryde clearing invasive sycamore to create wo

Volunteers working with rangers Lynda Gilbert and Chris Ryde clearing invasive sycamore to create woodland glades in the woods by the Nacton Shore picnic site - Credit: Andy Abbott

VOLUNTEERS have taken part in a project to create glades to bring light to the floor of a woodland to increase the amount of plants and wildlife.

Volunteer Fred Boggis from Woodbridge feedng the bonfire

Volunteer Fred Boggis from Woodbridge feedng the bonfire - Credit: Andy Abbott

Members of the Footprints team, men and women from all over the Suffolk Coastal, set about cutting back sycamore growth in the woods at Nacton Shore picnic site.

The district council took over the woods and foreshore last year when the county council decided it would no longer run country parks.

Countryside ranger Lynda Gilbert said sycamores are an invasive species which need to be thinned out to allow sunlight to shine through the wood canopy.

This would allow flowers and other plants to grow that would support a greater diversity of wildlife, including birds and insects.

She said: “Suffolk County Council has done work in the past because lots of trees have been coppiced but unfortunately their stumps were not treated. The wood is not just sycamore and there are some nice beech trees and field maple, and a couple of ancient oaks.

“The volunteers did some fantastic work and I cannot thank them enough. We will be returning later in the year to do some more.”

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This year it is planned to regularly mow the grass close to the foreshore, but to leave the top quarter of the area to create a wildflower meadow that will be cut and raked annually.

The meadow should provide homes for more invertebrates and food for birds and also a spectacular array of colourful flowers.

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