Volunteers needed for Upton Woods

Purbeck Council is organising a conservation project to clear holly in Upton Woods along with Dorset Conservation Volunteers later this month.

“It’s that time of the year when we all feel the need to have a clear-out, so this is a great opportunity to get stuck in and make a real difference,” said Councillor Gloria Marsh, spokesperson for Natural Environment.

“We need 10-15 volunteers for each project and even though we have 135 members throughout Dorset, most can’t make it because it is far for them,’ said Brian Thompson, co-ordinator of Dorset Conservation Volunteers (DCV).

The organisation will be carrying out the volunteer project and will be providing basic tools and resources such as bow saws, safety goggles and gloves. The clear up will take place on 23 and 24 March.

Basic training such as the use saws and the identification of holly is provided by the DCV to volunteers. “We provide a supervisor to the volunteers for the first time to make sure they get a hang of it. Safety training is important on such projects,” said Mr Thompson.

Holly needs to be cut frequently other wise it “smothers other plants”, he added.

“Our projects are all about balance of nature. We try and maintain balance between wildlife and countryside. We make sure that we conserve our nature and the wildlife and holly has a tendency to over-run other plants, especially flowers,” he said.

However a project like this can only take place between October and March.

Mr Thompson said: “We can’t do this any other time because it is nesting season. In fact when we go for it and we see shrubs where small animals are habituating, we move on and leave it alone.”

The DCV, a non-profit organisation, carries out various projects at Upton Woods and other woodlands throughout Dorset. Mr Thompson said Council rangers decide which project needs to be carried out and they pay a small fee to do it.

Main image by Fred Hosley via Flickr.

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