Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust

Sustainable Skills at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust has 12 nature reserves around the Stroud Valleys, but few people know that many sustainable skills are being kept alive by the local charity as part of managing them.

Coppicing is one of the oldest countryside management techniques imaginable; some types of tree produce useful new growth when cut to the ground every seven to 20 years. Coppicing was widespread until the 20th century when coal, plastics and steel replaced woods many uses. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust still manages its old coppice woodlands in the traditional way, with volunteers hand cutting the hazel which can then be used for fencing, hedgelaying, charcoal and firewood. Dormice, bluebells, and many butterfly species are at risk because old coppice woods have become overgrown and dark.

A dew pond is a pond traditionally made by farmers to provide water for their livestock where there isn’t any water naturally. The pond is designed to be fed by dew and rain water, and constructed using traditional methods and materials such as clay, lime and straw. This ancient method was how a dew pond was made this year at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s Daneway Banks nature reserve, near Sapperton. Grazing is vital for the rare plants and large blue butterfly found on the reserve to thrive, and the pond is a sustainable way of providing the animals with water.

Learn skills and find out more…if you would like to learn more about these or other sustainable skills that the Trust uses please contact Ellen Winter, Stroud Community Wildlife Officer by email or 07739 297309, look at local events on our facebook page , follow us on twitter or visit our web-site. Registered charity number: 232580.