Sparkford Copse Trust
Many people enjoy access to the 4 wooded areas – Hill Copse, Millennium Copse, Ridge Copse and Wyvern Copse – whether it is for a quiet stroll, walking the dog or providing the Cubs and Scouts with an area to practice some of their skills required to meet their badge challenges. Some of you may not be aware that there is a Trust, supported by a membership and the 2 local Parish Councils, which manage these areas and new members are always welcome. There will be opportunities later in the Autumn and in the Spring to join with other Trust members in undertaking some practical activity in the woods to maintain the environment in good order. If you wish to become a member then please either contact Malcolm Littlewood, the Chairman on 440584, or Tracy Ufnowski, the Treasurer on 440878. There is either an annual membership fee of £5 or a life membership of £30.
Many of the trees planted in November 1999 have emerged from their shelters, - a most encouraging sight! A survey of the original planting this September showed that more than 80% are growing healthily, some 8% having died over this last year. The principle reason for this years losses has been voles building nests in the bottom of the shelters and gnawing thru the bark and/or stem of a small sapling.
The bad weather and the FMD crisis in the spring of this year prevented us from replacing the trees lost in the first year but plans are now in place for a replanting the most affected areas later this year.
The water level remained high until late summer when the spring feeding it dried out - still rain is on it's way.
The pond below the railway embankment has made a colourful display this summer, surrounded by flowering irises, buttercups and campion.
The luxuriant growth of the grass reminds what a prolific meadow the Millennium Field used to be. Our thanks to Justin Crawford for cutting the main pathways to make access easy for walkers. While this was done there was a spectacular display of vole-hunting by a Kestrel, often diving in front of Justin's tractor after his prey!
The Wyvern Copse
Only partial planting was undertaken at the start of this year. It is hoped that this will be completed later this year. However we have installed a new gate and stile at the lower end of the field so that there is now a thru pathway down the field.
The Trust is funded by subscriptions from members and by maintenance grants from the Forestry Authority. Valuable technical support is also provided by Somerset County Council, the Woodland Trust and the Somerset Wildlife Advisory Trust.
Subscription rates are:-
- Annual Membership £2.50
- Family or Corporate Membership £5.00
- OAPs and those in full time education £0.50
- Life Membership £25.00
Anyone wishing to support the Trust should contact M J Littlewood 01963 440584.