July Volunteer Day

As the heat wave continues we are thankful for the shade of 600+ trees at Tortworth! The sweltering heat didn’t put-off our keen volunteers, who came and spent Sunday helping us with important arboretum restoration work.

Slow and steady, with lots of breaks for water, was the order of the day. The morning was hugely productive with three teams spread out tackling a variety of tasks. First up, one team began processing a huge beech tree that came down in strong winds about 18 months ago. They started at the top to safely saw off limbs and reduce them in size ready to be firewood.  Our second group was a team of 4 scythers clearing a slope above the fallen beech tree. And the third group used slashers, billhooks and sickles to attack nettles and bracken in the northern area of the site.

Throughout the morning Jake offered volunteers the chance to leave their mark on the tree collection in another way, by attaching some of our 50 new tree labels. These labels mark a huge milestone for us and the arboretum as many trees have lost their labels or never had labels, raising lots of questions about what they are.  The new labels are the culmination of years of work identifying trees and creating a new numbering system for them (more about this to follow in a blog post soon!).

After a rest and re-fuel at lunchtime some energetic volunteers returned to further saw and chop the beech tree. For others we had planned some more gentle activity in the heat of the afternoon – setting-up dormouse survey tubes around the site, and doing a butterfly survey as part of the Big Butterfly Count.

Thank you to everyone who came along!

If you’d like to join our Volunteer Day on 15 August then please email volunteer@tortwortharboertum.org to sign up and to join our volunteer mailing list.