Thursday, 19 December 2013

Exploring the Wye Valley AONB with a new group of Youth Rangers

Team Building in the Wye Valley Woodland

Twenty one ... the magic number - the number of leaves from different species of woodland plant and trees found and identified by the new group of Youth Rangers on their first outing together.
With a late autumn there were plenty of fallen leaves under foot. The group gathered them up to compare and contrast and create leaf art.The group undertook a series of challenges and all got to know each other a little better.

Getting to know each other

After hot chocolate and marshmallows the group set off to navigate from Bracelands Adventure Centre near Christchurch to Monmouth via the Biblins.

Many hands make light work

We stopped to hear about Lady Park Wood the long running scientific study situated near the River Wye at the Biblins. This  National Nature Reserve, which is secured behind a high fence though visible from the Peregrine Path where we were able to view it, has had no management since 1955 and has been fenced from the deer since 2006. In this time period it has been continually monitored to determine what factors effect the ecology of the woodland. This study is on- going and currently reveals a decline in many woodland ground flora species and an increase in deadwood species like fungi. As there is no management by people the factors which have the greatest influence on the woodland are events, like trees toppling and droughts. There is a lot more to learn from long term studies of this type that can inform and educate conservationists of  today and the future

After lunch we continued along the Wye Valley Walk to Monmouth. Our first adventure complete.

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