Well here is my first Lower Windrush Valley Project Blog and what a brilliant way to start. I worked with STEPS students and staff from the Abingdon and Witney College when I was with the Wychwood Project and it is wonderful to be able to link up with them again here. Different students but the same joy and enthusiasm for the outdoor world and outdoor physical work. I hope that my blogging skills increase as rapidly as their technical skills.
What a great gang; Ryan, William, Azeem, Philip and Tommy are busy coppicing the shelter belt at Standlake Common Nature Reserve. Over a few weeks this term they are learning to use hand tools safely and efficiently and also how to work together as a team. Their teacher Debbie said, 'It is a real joy to see these students so engaged and happy in what they are doing. I wish we could come out every week'.
They have quickly grasped the concept of coppicing and building habitat piles with the larger stems and cutting the brash to cover the cut stems, in the hope of deterring hungry deer from eating the new shoots in the spring. If this doesn't work then next year we will be back putting guards round the trees but we think this method is worth a try.