The storms of the Winter have left the carers of Ludlow’s favourite beauty spot – Whitcliffe Common – with plenty to do.
The band of volunteers who work free of charge for the Trustees of the Friends of Whitcliffe Common have been out regularly working to clear the damage caused through the winter.
Much of the usual maintenance work has had to be shelved while they have worked hard to clear paths of fallen trees, stacking logs and brash as neatly as they can.
Volunteer co-ordinator Rick Summers said, “There is an amazing amount of wood when a big tree falls down. Some were so big that they were beyond the capabilities of the volunteers. So we have had to use qualified help from staff of Shropshire Wildlife Trust (who hold the lease on the common and work hand in hand with FOWC) and also outside contractors who have the necessary equipment such as winches.”
Mr Summers said there were 15 large trees which fell and blocked a number of paths. Numerous others fell in not so public areas and were checked that they were safe and then left to form habitat while they rot down.
Despite the amount of volunteers work running into hundreds of hours there is still a lot to be done. SWT has already identified a number of trees which will need work and it is also keeping a watchful eye on the amount of Ash die back which will eventually lead to the need to fell a considerable number of trees as a matter of safety.
On the good news side FOWC’s programme of tree planting has continued and includes English Oak, Sessile Oak, Silver Birch, Blackthorn, Crab Apple, Wild Cherry and Dog Wood.
Limited permitted clearance will be carried out but the focus now, with nesting season restricting what can be done, will see the volunteers switch to normal maintenance including strimming around seats and keeping paths clear of brambles and nettles.