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End of the Season

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END OF THE SCRUB-BASHING SEASON ON STINCHCOMBE HILL

Before

The sap is rising and the skylarks are singing, signalling the end of the scrub-bashing season. That’s quite enough sibilance!

Our small group of volunteers meets Wednesday mornings from September to March, led by Chris Wiltshire (Gloucestershire Butterfly Recorder). There is an occasional joint session with Gloucester Vale Conservation Volunteers, usually on a Sunday.

Stinchcombe Hill Site of Special Scientific Interest was designated to protect the unimproved Cotswold limestone grassland on the slopes of the hill. This now rare habitat is important for wildflowers and for wildlife, especially butterflies, moths and beetles. Much of our work involves fighting back the encroaching scrub and treating the stumps to prevent regrowth. We also give Stinchcombe Village Green (by the trig point) its annual cut and rake to promote wildflower growth.

This season’s work was mainly on the banks to the south of the car park and to the south of Drakestone Point. Money from the Parish Council helped us to employ a contractor with a vehicle suitable for steep slopes for a few days, greatly increasing the area cut.

After

Typically we get only three to six volunteers and more would be welcome. What other activity combines exercise, fresh air, marvellous views, companionship and the satisfaction of doing something positive for the local environment?

Interested? Watch out for an announcement late summer when we resume work.

Photos are by a member of the Gloucester Vale Conservation Volunteers taken on a joint work party in February 2017.