Half-welly walk

Coppicing willow at the National Botanic Garden Wales

Coppicing willow at the National Botanic Garden Wales in late January

We spent a lovely day in late January volunteering at the National Botanic Garden in Wales. We were helping to coppice the willow in the Education area near the Science building. It was a lovely fun if rather wet day (particularly nice as the Food Fair was on in their giant greenhouse – The Parsnipship vegatarian food for the 21st century was by far the best stall), but the whole day left us wanting more! Luckily for us there is a lot of work we need to do to get our woodland into some kind of managed state.

Half-welly walk

Half-welly walk - a more accessible section (before)

Half-welly walk is a wide track that takes you down to part of the wood. Or at least it would if it wasn’t for the fallen trees, brambles and general overgrown junglyness in the way.

That’s the first job decided.

Half-welly walk is such a wonderful micro-habitat. Standing in one spot I counted seven native trees around me. If I’m right in my winter identification of trees, this could make it a species-rich hedgerow, and possibly an ancient hedgerow – more research needed. Wonderful responsibilities to have.

Bluebells emerging

Bluebells emerging

Two weekends later and half-welly walk is walkable. Good timing too as the bluebells are just poking through the earth. Now we will be able to see them easily on our trips down to the river.

Looks like we’ve got a lot research to do about the species lining this walk and the implications … not least perhaps a more respectful name if it is such an ancient hedgerow …

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