While the Thames Valley woke up a small blanket of snow at the wekend, as winter held its grip on us, members of Reading’s Econet were delighted to find a hint that spring is on its way.
The conservation volunteers visited Blackhouse Woods at Clayfield Copse near Caversham and discovered some bluebells started to come up.
Collectively, over the past two months, the team has spent 40 man clearing the brambles from this patch so that members of the public can enjoy it without getting scratched.
Reading Econet’s Jude Oliver said: “We will see the bluebells in all their glory come April. Unfortunately most of the woods up there are overgrown with bramble which smothers the bluebells, but the volunteers try and keep this area at least as clear as they can and can only work in December and January as they try not to damage the new shoots coming through.”
The team were also out and about on Sunday, February 1, on another part of the area.
Jude said: “Nine volunteers turned up to clear the margins along a short section of the Ride, the path parallel to Rose Kiln Lane. They also cleared the oak which had fallen across the path from Marchwood, parts of the oak will be used as supports for a new seat in the football field – these seats are made by volunteer Brian Veryan.”
The busy volunteers also propped up a fence which had collapsed alongside that path by tucking in some holly bushes.
They are now planning on launching a programme of coppicing and widening the footpaths up there which, they report, have become very muddy.
Jude said: “If you can help at all, even for one hour, please get in touch.”
For more details and dates and times of volunteer sessions, call 0118 948 4454 or visit www.econetreading.org.uk.