Posts Tagged ‘Rhododendron’

Dudmaston Estate, Sunday/Monday 28th/29th August

Bank Holiday weekend….what to do? Relax? Take it easy? Read a mind improving book or 3? No, No, No! What you really want to do is get up early, drive to Dudmaston for a 9am start, pull out lots of rhodis and BURN THEM!!!! Then on day 2: repeat.

And so it was that 8 of us met NT Area Ranger Mike Annis at the Dudmaston Estate Yard in Shropshire at 9am on Bank Holiday Sunday. From there it was a short drive to the work site which was, if you are familiar with the estate, between the big pool and the main road. Our workday leader quickly got a fire started and the rest of the group soon made good progress on clearing the area of unwanted rhodis. If possible, we rip the rhodis out by the root. The aim is to prevent any regrowth.

Mike tells us that, in the past, this area was planted with colourful specimen rhodis and azaleas and would have been quite a pleasant walk. In the long term, it would be good to replant the walk for the benefit of visitors.

While some of the group seemed to have enough energy to continue on into the evening….it was decided to call it a day at 4pm. A small amount of clearance work remained to be done and we made a note to finish that work on the following morning before moving to another nearby site.

Sunday morning, early again (groan!). We finished work on site No.1 and sent workday leader Ron over to site No.2 to start a new fire. The group (6 of us today) worked hard to clear rhodis at the new site. Ron kept us motivated by feeding us chocolate-fridge-cake. Just when we think that the end of the rhodis is in sight…we see more in the distance. This is not a bad thing – we need some future work to look forward to.

We were fortunate with weather on both days as it stayed dry throughout.

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Toothill Woods, Sunday 13th February

Despite the rain, a hardy group of 5 went ‘rhodi bashing’ at Toothill in Staffordshire, near the village of Alton. They met members of the Staffordshire volunteer group and, alongside warden Rod Whiteman, cleared an area of rhododendron affected by the disease phytopthora ramorum. The plants had to be burned on site to prevent spread of the disease, but that’s ok – we like a fire!

This is a challenging, steeply sloping site but a good days work was completed despite the conditions. Work will continue at this site in the autumn.

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