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Snakemoor Update

by Robyn Thorogood – 3rd November 2014
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Robyn Thorogood, the volunteer manager of our local nature reserve, provides a regular update to Haddenham Parish Council to document the activities and work at Snakemoor. Here is his latest report for the year to date, 2014.

A Winter clean up is needed together with a little planting, and this is planned to happen on Saturday 22nd November, starting at 10.30 am. New volunteers would be most welcome.

Some regular visitors will have noticed that the pond has been cleared out. Mark Nicolson kindly did this for us. Jim (the village handyman) is refurbishing an old seat that will be suitable for putting in the pond area. We might find time to clear a level space for this.

Mark will also have felled a few ash trees which will leave some debris to clear. These are trees left from the Nursery Days that are now too close together.

The following table summarised the principal activities at Snakemoor since the Spring:

Mark. The pond is filling up and looking good after rain in early October
May All Junior School classes visited the reserve during the week before half-term.
June 02 Tom Bucknall kindly got Harry to spray weed killer to the edges of the Station to Snakemoor path. This followed David Hollick advising me that the path would break up if we did not do this. Harry has since given a second spray
June 06 Handyman Jim made a good cut of the paths etc. Hopefully this will now be repeated at sensible intervals
June 08 I was pleased to see that the Orchids have returned again. (Flower stems show the clump of these Common Spotted Orchids is slowly getting larger
June 16 Rainbows visited when they enjoyed a treasure hunt organised by Andy Hardy
June 30 Zoe Smith with the Brownies had a picnic at the reserve
July Snakemoor is now the proud owner of a Disc Mower and a Buck Rake. Both for pulling behind Michael's tractor. They have cost just over £1000 but allow us to be self- sufficient in removing the annual hay crop from the meadow. As a contractor for this job was costing some £250 this should soon prove to be an excellent investment. Thank you to Michael for determining our requirements, obtaining and then using his tractor for the job
July 22 and 24 Two long morning work groups transformed Snakemoor into a nature reserve to be proud of. On the first morning the meadow was cut with our new equipment and then the second morning the hay was moved from the meadow. In addition David Rankin did some substantial and essential tree lopping. The orchard, the young Elms, the Yew and Spindle area (SE of meadow) and honeysuckles were cleared of undergrowth. The seats cleared of undergrowth and our dam in the ditch had its sides strengthened. A fallen tree on the access path from the station was trimmed back. With Jim our village handyman turning up to cut the paths the reserve was transformed and Keith Milmer ensured our activities were mentioned on Haddenham.net. The volunteers were: Michael, David Rankin, Jim Robinson, Andrew Hearsey, Guy Redshaw, Chris Young, Jim Joiner, Lucy Jennings, Teris Roone, Allison Watt, John Wilson, Sarah McLoughlin, Robyn and Chris (who provided the much appreciated refreshments). Three children attended and gave useful assistance. These were: Many thanks to Ezra Roone, Eddie and Maddie McLoughlin
Sept Mark Nicolson's digger and assistant dug the pond out, thanks to
Sept 30 Bill & Janet Piers with me planted 600 English Bluebells & 500 Wood Anemones in front of the Diana Alderson seat. Also a few Orange Hawkweed and Orchid seed in the meadow (collected from the Snakemoor Common Spotted Orchid)
Oct 9 The Haddenham in Transition Group collected apples for juicing at their Homemade in Haddenham Day

Robyn Thorogood
Volunteer Manager of Snakemoor

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