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Habitat improvements in Harmony Woods

 

In January and February 2024 the Andover Youth Shoots have been focusing on their habitat creation projects within their community woodland called Harmony Woods.

There are 2 key areas of Harmony Woods that the youth team have identified as areas for improvement.

  1. The ‘pinch point’ area – this is a wide grassy ride in the woodland that the youth team have been planting with trees and hedgerow in order to create a more narrow pathway. This is so that wildlife such as small mammals can more easily migrate into Harmony Woods from the neighbouring farmland. From the point of view of a field mouse, crossing the wide grassy path is currently like crossing the M25!
  2. The ‘conservation corner’ area – this is another grassy area that the youth team are maintaining for wildflowers. The grass grows on clay-capped chalk, so has the potential to be as diverse as nearby chalk meadows such as Salisbury pain. The chalk meadow is said to be as biodiverse as a tropical rainforest, and is one of the UKs rarest habitats.

In January, we spent some time assessing these areas again and coming up with an action plan for the following year.

In February, we planted more trees at our pinch point area and trimmed all the long grasses away from the base of the trees that we panted last year, to reduce competition for water and nutrients. It was also decided that we need to find a few more hedgerow species to finish this area off, and we hope to continue planting at next month’s session in March.

This work will also contribute to the John Muir award, which some of the Andover Youth Shoots are currently working towards achieving!

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