Following on from the fencing work undertaken in January, Conservation Group members have been clearing the newly designated meadow area of scrub, shrubs and low level tree growth. This is why you will see piles of cut branches, twigs and bramble around the Reserve.
There is quite alot of this debris around the site at the moment; some of this will be left or moved to create ground habitats, some will be reserved for charcoal-making at a later date, and some will be safely burnt off. Over the next few weeks we will be strimming down the top layer of the new meadow area to give meadow-loving plants a chance to get established without quicker growing plants competing for light and nutrients.
If you are interested in joining in, come along to our next meeting (14th March in the Clara Vale Village Hall at 7pm) or keep an eye on our Upcoming Events section of the website and come along on a task day (which is usually a couple of hours). No special skills required!
We are interested to hear your views about how you use the Nature Reserve to help us shape its future and here is your the opportunity to tell us. Just complete the survey by clicking the link below, it will take just a couple of minutes. You don’t have to give any personal details.
We are running the Survey until the end of March 2016 and will report back soon after on feedback received.
Clara Vale Nature Reserve User Survey
Contractors have just about finished the new perimeter and paddock field fencing in the Reserve, the infrastructure element of the Flowers in the Vale project. New, wider access gates have also been installed, along with a stock pen.
Whilst the galvanised gates may look bright against the wood while new, they will weather and dull down over time. Compacted ground where machinery has been working will also recover as we enter the Spring and Summer.
Visitors to the Reserve today may have been slightly surprised to hear the cracking of timber and seeing a group of people busy sawing some of the smaller trees.
The purpose of this is to clear the fence line around the Reserve, to allow access for machinery which will be used to put in new fencing as part of the Flowers in the Vale project. Most likely this will happen in late February/early March.
About half the fence line was cleared today and we have another session coming up on Sunday 7th February. If you’d like to join in, just turn up at the Reserve entrance at 10am. Allow a couple of hours, tools provided. Someone may even bring a flask of coffee!
The Clara Vale Conservation Group are delighted to announce that a grant has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery fund for an exciting project within the Nature Reserve:
This project is led by Gateshead Council with full support from Clara Vale Conservation Group. Through fun community events and volunteer opportunities we seek to enthuse the village and wider community to become involved in restoring part of the nature reserve to a traditional hay meadow, gaining grassland management skills that will help sustain its future, while learning about the importance of this threatened habitat to flora and fauna.
People will have opportunities to participate in a range of volunteer activities including: scrub clearance, seed and green hay collection and distribution, hay cutting and collecting, flora and fauna surveys as well as having fun while learning at a meadow picnic event.
Infrastructure will be put in to allow traditional after grazing of the meadow areas by rare conservation breeds, while still allowing public access, including wheel chairs and buggies.
Information on how to get involved in the project, plus an education pack and guide to the reserve will be digitally produced and made available on this website.