Where and when, etc.

Where 
On the fourth Sunday of each month, we meet at 10.0am at the gate to the north entrance of St Leonard’s Forest, on the bridleway off Forest Road, Colgate. 

The OS map reference is TQ 221 324
We wear old clothes, tough boots (or wellies) and tough gloves. 

Bring a packed lunch and hot/or cold drinks if you wish. Tea, coffee and biscuits is usually available at mid-morning break and again at lunch break.

We usually finish about 3.30pm but anyone can finish at any time before that. Just let us know that you are leaving the site.

When
The dates for 2017 are -
22nd Jan 26th Feb 26th Mar 23rd Apr 28th May 25th Jun 23rd Jul 27th Aug 24th Sep 22nd Oct 26th Nov 17th Dec
Who
Mike Heald leads the group and allocates the tasks in conjunction with Gatwick Green Space Partnership.

Members of the group are of both sexes and range in age from 17 to 70+.  There is always a wide range of tasks to suit the abilities of members.

How
We use bow-saws and loppers mainly but spades and mattocks are sometimes used as appropriate. Health & Safety is important and we look for responsible use of all implements.

All tools are supplied but you are welcome to bring your own if you wish.

Which
Silver Birch can be very invasive on open heathland. We cut it as near to the ground as we can so it has less chance of shooting and growing again. We try to pull young shoots out of the ground
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Removing some of the lower branches of conifers allows more light and air into the stands to encourage the growth of other plants
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Finding Rhododendron and cutting it or grubbing it out can take a lot of our time
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We try to spot the Alder Blackthorn (in usually damp areas) and leave well alone. It is the food plant of the Brimstone butterfly which we wish to encourage 
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We have collected seed from heather and then distributed it in an adjacent area to help spread the plant
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Constructing small dams to encourage water margin plants and wildlife can be hard work but very rewarding
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Widening tracks and paths to allow more light and better access makes a difference to the area .





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