Stephen Bacon Tree Surgeons are proud to support the FLOW project.
This Heritage Lottery Funded Project is focussed on assessing the many ditches and waterways on the Manhood Peninsula to see how this network of wetland habitat is linked, identify areas of improvement for drainage and habitat improvement, and to highlight the benefits of well-managed ditches for people and wildlife.
Field Officer Chris Drake reports on FLOW’s winter work progress
We worked on a number of key Sites worked during December to January including Tile Barn Lane (East Wittering), Regency House (East Wittering), Sparrow Cottage (Earnley), Stubcroft Farm (East Wittering), Hilton Business Park (East Wittering), West Itchenor and Cakeham Manor (West Wittering).
Thanks to a wet Christmas period, the rising ground water levels have made tree works challenging at Hilton Business Park. We were up to our waist in water cutting over-grown Willow, which made the work slow going. In the end though, the wet weather turned a challenge into an achievement. We cleared 60% of the over grown Willow in the pond.
At Sparrow Cottage, the diggers removed a fair amount of soil from the silted-up ditches but the wet weather has restricted our ability to move the soil around the site. One ditch and pond has been completely dug out and we have also planted a hedge row and pollard/ laid 50% willow. At Regency House, 40% of the vegetation growing in the ditch has been removed.
Future works planned for Feb/March 2018: At Tile Barn Lane- Hedge we’ll lay en existing hedge and plant 120m of new hedging. At Sparrow Cottage we plan to finish 60m of Willow pollarding and plant and lay 80m of hedge. We’ll also plant trees and aquatic plants around pond area and arrange a digger and dumper to move soil when dry. At Cakeham Manor, we’ll plant trees and hedge lay selected areas, along with planting woodland/aquatic wild flower plugs in and around the stream. At West Itchenor, the alder trees will be Geo tagged for the management plan, and at Regency House, the plan is to remove the remaining vegetation from the ditch and plant wild flower plugs/trees in selected areas.
Along with practical work and surveys in Earnley, we’ve made a start in Sidlesham Parish and surveyed 115 ditches and 30 hedgerows during December and January.