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Holyland Wood

Visit Report 21/5/2022

Although many of the spring flowers are passed their best, the all-pervading smell of wild garlic fills the air! A few bluebells can still be seen in the shadier parts of the wood.

The green-ness of everything is the lasting impression you get as you wander noting how slowly the ash trees are in coming in to leaf this year. “Oak before the Ash; bound to get a soak” perhaps? The delicate white flowers of the cow parsley (I think. Never sure of the correct identification of all the Umbellifers!) light up the darker parts of the Wood with their luminosity.

The boardwalk path is becoming a little narrower as the Hemlock Water Dropwort spreads and grows along the edges. Cutting this back will be another job for the Work Party on Wednesday 15th June. Whilst I was there I had a look at how the Himalayan Balsam was growing in the marsh. Without the pink flowers to identify it, it takes a bit of concentration to see it growing amongst the reeds and other water plants such as Water Mint!

Once you get your eye in the number of small plants becomes obvious with dense populations seen especially at the eastern end. If we have a good turn out of volunteers for the Work Party we should be able to reduce the population of this alien species considerably.
Birds are still franticly feeding young fledglings and singing loudly, especially robins and blackbirds; also seen in a couple of spots were song thrushes and their offspring repeating their call phrases that helps to identify them.

A couple of firsts for this visit: a Rat was seen sitting near the entrance to the boardwalk, probably taking advantage of spilt bird food put out by generous regular visitors. Another first was seeing a couple picking up dry twiggy material under the beech tree in the car park. Talking to them they told me they were collecting dry tinder for the Scouts fire lighting practice on Thursday to take place on the Pembroke River edge just off the Coast Path and not in Holyland Wood!

John C

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Holyland Wood

Balsam Bashing

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Foundry House Blog

Food Hub at Foundry House  – Opening 20 June

Would you like to buy fresh and great value food in your community?

Would you like to be part of a new, exciting project and gain/share experience with a local food hub?

Do you want to be more connected to your community?

As a grower, supplier or a producer, would you like to reach new markets and customers?

to find out more contact the Project Support Officer on 07502 050099 or WCFD@planed.org.uk

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Holyland Wood

Visit Report 29/04/22

I haven’t visited Holyland Wood for a couple of weeks, although Irena and I did update the noticeboard this week with a poster promoting Hedgehog Week from 1st May, and it was great to see how green everything has become. Spring has exploded and new life is visible evrywhere.

The birds are busy with new families and songbirds are in full voice. Robins and blue tits follow you everywhere in case you drop something tasty! I saw a number of song thrushes all doing the same thing – exploiting the freshly excavated molehills and snatching food, before rushing back to the nest. Blackbird seem to have a knack of negotiating trees, branches and visitors in their single-minded dash at low level, backwards and forwards to their broods.

I met many happy dog walkers who all commented on the beauty of the Woods and how grateful they were to be able to visit them so close to their doorstep!

I took a small saw and a pair of secateurs to cut back any twigs or thorns creeping onto the paths but didn’t really need them. All seemed fine. I was reminded that I still have to remove the half sleepers that have been dropped in the stream and soon would be a good time to do it while the water level is low.

I also noted that a small fire had been lit where young people seem to meet so suggest we keep an eye on this habit as the evenings get longer.

John C

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Foundry House Blog

Fundraiser for Ukraine and Refugees Worldwide

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Foundry House Blog

FUNDRAISER for UKRAINE

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Holyland Wood

Visit Report 01/04/2022

I haven’t been able to visit the Wood for a couple of weeks but went out today; a cold but sunny early spring morning. Primarily I was looking at the trees that had been identified by the recent Safety Survey to ensure that the most urgent work had been completed as recommended.

On Thursday 31st March contractors had tackled the tree identified by the code T2 which was growing on the fence line, but was in danger of falling onto the main road. The tree has been reduced in height to 4m approx and the debris left on the verge. I believe the work was undertaken by Murray Taylor. There is still tree T7 to be tackled before the end of the year. It is a mature oak with the crown over the main road and will require traffic control when the work is in progress. We should speak to the owner (JT-F) asap to schedule the work. Tree T6 will also require further work to remove dead branches that are propped up by neighbouring trees close to the boardwalk start.

Nature notes: Birds seen included Blackbirds, Robins, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Long-tailed Tits, female Blackcap, Wood Pigeons, Jackdaws, Nuthatches, Wren, Jay, Thrush. Activity seen near the badger sett indicates the bedding is being refreshed. Also seen were grey squirrels and a large Buff-tailed Bumble Bee. Amongst the plants; Ransomes (Wild Garlic) are growing stongly in the woodland, a patch of Wood Anemones seen amongst the Celandines. Marsh Marigolds in the wetter areas and Cowslips in the car park meadow.
Unfortunately some of the sleepers have found their way into the river and we will need to fish them out before too long!
I watched an interesting presentation by the Cardiff Wildlife Trust Group on Alien Species Control (including Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed). The talk is still available on YouTube. CLICK HERE
John C

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Foundry House Blog

Want to Know more about a Food Hub in Pembroke ?

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Foundry House Blog

Repair Cafe

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Holyland Wood

Work Party Report 05/03/2022

A very productive and enjoyable Work Party. The weather was fine and the Wood was well visited by local people. There were 9 volunteers who tackled car park entrance tidying, removal of brambles from meadow, cutting back damaged trees, general maintenance, and improving the burnt boardwalk area.

It was noted that a van and owner had spent the night in the car park making the need to replace the entrance height barrier an urgent matter. I will try to contact a couple of PCC employees who may be able to help with suggestions of costs etc. this week.

John C