Strouds Field - February 2006
A Report for the Amport Website
In recent weeks, following the coppicing/pollarding of a short strip of the trees along the millstream, people have asked about Strouds field and a report might be of interest. But first a word about the background and purpose of this piece of land.
In 2001 The Trustees of the Amport Village Hall Charitable Trust purchased the land known as Strouds Field, or Amport Fen, and gave it to the Parish Council to be held in perpetuity as a small wildlife reserve with path access and seats for public use. It was specifically not an extension of the Village Green. The Parish Council then asked the Hampshire Wildlife Trust for advice and following a habitat survey a report was submitted to the Parish Council, with the following objectives:
After discussion the proposal for a bridge over the millstream and the provision of access to the site was dropped, as it was felt this would not be compatible with the above aim.
The Hampshire Wildlife Trust recommended two areas for action:
The purpose of this is to reduce the nettles and brambles and by opening up the site to increased light encourage wild flower regeneration. At the same time, by leaving the northern half of the site untouched, it is hoped that wildlife – including water voles, harvest mice and butterflies – will be encouraged.
The Hampshire Wildlife Trust envisaged a ten year plan. The brambles have been cut twice a year and coppicing has been carried out each winter. The logs (almost all willow) are left on the ground and can be taken for firewood, but they provide a home for many small animals and insects. The bark chippings can also be taken for use in the garden.
WORK UP TO JANUARY 2006
Over the last 4 years the plan has been followed to a large extent.
The land was given with an endowment and this has paid for all the work to date.
The Parish Council has given an undertaking that the land will not be sold.
The Hampshire Wildlife Trust plan of 2002 will continue to be followed.
Access to the public will be improved with increased frequency of the cuts of the paths and the provision of a bench/seat.
THE WAY FORWARD
It is hoped to form a volunteer base of parishioners who are prepared to work on the site for 2 days a year in March and September.
It is hoped to appoint a volunteer coordinator.
After the Village Design Statement meeting on Saturday 25 February 2006 at 12 noon in the Amport Inn there will be an opportunity to discuss the way ahead – please come if you can.
There remains a long way to go. The site has been neglected for many years and it will be another at least 5 years before it can be said that a real impact has been made. However, it has already become home to an impressive variety of wildlife and the increased light now reaching the site will hasten the bio-diversification process.
|Home Feedback Policies Last updated 23 Feb 2006 Copyright © 2003-2011 Amport Parish Council|