Twelve of us gathered at this lovely little reserve near Ancaster – a first visit there for many of us – and we were pleased to welcome new volunteer Sumit too.
Ancaster Valley, managed by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, is a steep-sided valley covered with limestone grassland, scrub and woodland, including yew, box and barberry. It is recognised as one of the best sites for limestone flowers in the county, although we will have to visit at another time of year to see the site in full flower!
One of our intended jobs for the day was to cut back a patch of scrub that is spreading and shading out the flowers, but there were so many berries on its shrubs that the ranger decided to leave such a good source of food for the wildlife and will do the work later in the year, when the berries have gone.
Our other job was to clear the wire fence between the grassland and the woods, as much of it was overgrown with native clematis, nettles, brambles and so on. Sheep are being moved onto the reserve soon to play their part in the management of the grassland and it is important that the fence is in good order so they can’t escape! The plant growth meant that it was impossible to check it properly.
We were lucky that the forecast rain did not materialise and we managed to clear a good long stretch of fence over the day, ready for contractors to do any necessary repairs.
Thanks to everyone who came along on the day, and to John for the Chocolate Digestives!