Jim’s Log 18.08.16

percy-1Summer is a wonderful time of year in Wood Bridge, the leaves in the tree are as green as you’d like and the forests are filled with the sounds of birdsong. With winter a distant memory in the mind, there’s never been a better time of year to be a park keeper!

However, with lovely weather comes an increase in visitors to this special corner of the world. Us rangers love seeing the forest being used by people, its so big that it never feels crowded and its always a nice surprise to bump into sightseers. With increased footfall, however, comes a higher risk of misuse.

Its come to our attention that there’s been some unlicensed felling taking place. Cutting trees down in Wood Bridge is illegal, there’s legislation in place to fine offenders heavily but we have to be around to catch them in the act. With that in mind, if anyone sees evidence of this kind of activity then please don’t hesitate to call us; our phone numbers are posted all round the park.

badgerIn better news, our badger population is on the up and they’re starting to look a lot healthier. The winter/spring months can often be tough on our furry friends and we were worried that numbers were dwindling. However, our badger cove cams have lifted our spirits – there are four separate mothers with healthy looking cubs!

As long as the coves stay well protected by our conservation fences, these cubs should have the best advantages in life. There’s plenty of water, food and light for them to get accustomed to the forest floor. In a few months time they’ll be venturing out amongst the undergrowth and getting to grips with their survival techniques and we can’t wait to see them flourish!

natural poolMeanwhile, we’re continuing our plans to create an outdoor swimming pool in one of our stargazing clearings. After reaching out to trade suppliers Paramount Pools, we’re close to reaching a finished design on our semi-natural swimming pool.

The folks at Paramount have been really helpful in talking us through the pros and cons of an industry that we’re really not familiar with. There’s just so many things to consider; skimmers, covers, filters, pumps. The list goes on and on. The aim is to create a decent sized pool which has as small of an impact on the environment as possible, building should begin in the next month!

forestLastly, there’s been some promising signs of regeneration in the South side of the Park after a few small fires were discovered two weeks ago. At this time of year the undergrowth can be extremly dry, even the smallest of fires can quickly spread and cause real damage to our Park. Trees, as well as the land-based mammals of the forest, are particularly vulnerable and we shall all have to work together to protect them.

The source of the blazes are still a mystery so, until we know what’s causing them, we’ll be increasing patrols in the next fortnight to ensure that no more fires are lit. Please remember that BBQs and fire-pits are strictly forbidden in the park grounds, why not enjoy a simple picnic instead!

Jim – Wood Bridge Park Ranger