Since 2009 The Woodland Flora & Fauna Group has been inspecting and maintaining bat and bird boxes within a small wood on Talbot Field Nature Reserve in Hassocks on behalf of Hassocks Parish Council. The area has proved very successful with the majority of boxes always occupied. The bat species mostly found are Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle and Brown Long-eared with mostly Blue Tits, Great Tits and Nuthatches occupying the bird boxes. The wood provides a welcome sanctuary for these species.
The woodland is a valued sanctuary for bats and birds.
The reserve generally had progressively become very overgrown with brush and unwanted seedlings spreading throughout the area since and our group was approached by the Council to enquire if we would be prepared to remedy the problem. Talbot Field is an extremely valuable location providing much needed opportunities for nature to flourish again so agreement was readily given.
The thick bramble understorey advances across the surrounding meadow.
Elsewhere brush of all descriptions determinedly spreads throughout the reserve.
Initially we removed the densely spreading white poplar saplings which had invaded the reserve via windborne seeds from neighbouring species and cleared overgrown footpaths. We then tackled the thick growth of bramble which was rapidly spreading outwards from the wood. Bramble growth, mixed with stinging nettles was also invading the reserve around the boundaries.
Spreading white poplar saplings were speedily tackled by group volunteers.
Volunteers are steadily tackling the overall task and already significant progress has been made. The dense bramble removal is proving to be very challenging but work will continue until the reserve is once again in a well-managed condition for the benefit of nature.
All cleared cuttings were burnt as piles were created.
The wood as it appeared later after clearance work had been undertaken by the volunteers.
Hopefully next season when all restoration work is finished, Talbot Field will flourish with increased vigour to significantly benefit the indigenous flora and fauna species. These benefits to the natural world are the reason our volunteers work so hard and give up hours of their valuable time to achieve. We are very fortunate to receive such support and are extremely grateful for it, as we are for the generosity of Hassocks Parish Council in designating this location as an area for nature.