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Eastwyke Dyke audit

In 2021 we were asked by one of our agents whether we would be interested in planting some trees on our land at Eastwyke Dyke, adjacent to our Sportsground. While the offer was attractive, we had to be certain that in order to create one habitat, we were not compromising another that was already of value to wildlife. The Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust  (BBOWT) produced a botanical survey and management recommendations for us to help in our decision making. We were pleased to find that the area which was previously covered in orchards was already botanically quite rich and valuable for wildlife; the recommendation to manage it as it is and not plant trees was readily accepted. We were also happy to soften the edges of the close mown pitches where appropriate to allow a long grass habitat to emerge.  We will supplement the treeline with more scrubby development to include a variety of native species and under-sow a good quality wildflower mix.

We can plant further trees in the area known as Dyke Fields; there is little of any real interest there botanically. We will follow the advice in the management plan to ensure that we achieve the sorts of gains we wish to see.

We are fortunate to have a wildlife friendly carpenter in our workshops; Chris is making bird and bat boxes with waste wood that would otherwise be put into a skip. As to the development of a pond? Let’s see what we can do – there is no doubt of the benefits of water for wildlife but we need to ensure that others in our community are happy with the proposal. More to come…

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Published: 30 May 2023

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