Volunteers from the Friends of Barnwood Arboretum braved the
cold at the weekend to cut back bramble from the base of some of the most
magnificent trees in Gloucester.
A group of 17 people wielded slashers, loppers and secateurs under the guidance
of Justin Hobbs, Gloucester City Council Tree Officer.
The Friends of Barnwood Arboretum was formed over 10 years
ago by local residents, soon after the site was given to Gloucester City
Council by a developer. The group works with Gloucester City Council to manage Barnwood Park and Arboretum for the benefit of
local people and wildlife. The emphasis in the Arboretum is on trees and
wildlife as it is designated as a Local Nature Reserve.
A Dawn Redwood tree, planted to commemorate the Queen's
coronation, and a Black Mulberry, popular with fruit pickers in the summer,
were the main focus of the Friends' efforts on Saturday. A Walnut tree, planted
by the group several years ago, was also rescued from invasive bramble.
Ron Keasley, chairman of the Friends, said, "Bramble is
important for wildlife as it creates ideal habitat for small nesting birds and
mammals and it's a valuable source of nectar for butterflies, moths and bees.
But we do need to protect our special trees from being overgrown by bramble. By
chopping back we also create conditions for less vigorous wild plants to
emerge. There is no shortage of bramble patches elsewhere in the Arboretum."
Park and Arboretum was
most recently awarded a Green Flag in 2012. Keep Britain Tidy's Green Flag
scheme recognises and rewards the best green spaces in the country.
The Friends will be working in Barnwood Park
and Arboretum again on Saturday March 23. They are hoping to lay wood chippings
on the informal paths and to prepare a seed bed in the park for flowers for
bees. Further details will be available nearer the time on the Friends' website:
and on the park's notice boards.