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                          Friends of Hagg Wood

                          Newsletter - April 2012


Dear Friend


The bluebells, primroses, wood anemones, violets and wood sorrel are looking magnificent this Spring in Hagg Wood, but especially so around the pond in the bluebell area that has been one of our main targets for our conservation activities this year. With the help of the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) and a Big Lottery Fund grant, we have been carrying out extensive clearance work around the pond and also around the bomb crater area elsewhere in the wood. We have been able to combine this with the planting around the bomb crater and pond of rowan, hazel, hawthorn and blackthorn saplings that we have received as part of the Woodland Trust Jubilee Woods initiative, and which will help to provide important additional future food sources to increase biodiversity in the wood. After the Forestry Commission kindly agreed to fell some of the conifers around the crater area to open up the area to more light from the open sky above, the result is an important new area of the wood that should prove very attractive to birdlife and pond life. The Forestry Commissionís thinning last year of conifers throughout the wood has also exposed a rich seed bed of foxgloves that are set to bloom in very large numbers later this summer, and will be a sight not to be missed.


Another area within the wood where we have been able to make significant progress in recent months is the area to the right of the stone track that was cleared by the Forestry Commission of Western Hemlock that were about to drop seeds. This extensive area has now been planted by us, with the help of local school children and their parents, with over 80 oak saplings from the Woodland Trust, including one from the Royal Estates, to form a new Jubilee area.  On the corner of this area, we have also planted a young oak tree in remembrance of Ron Bielby, local countryman and one of our long-standing members, who died last year. All of this is in line with the new 10-year Forest Design Plan for Hagg Wood which the Forestry Commission has recently announced. This involves Continuous Cover Forestry for the wood with an absence of any extensive clear felling and instead minor thinning, together with a gradual replacement of the dominant conifer cover with native broadleaf species. Though there are remaining tasks we have requested the FC to do for some time, including improving the drainage near footpaths in the wood, our association with the Forestry Commission is therefore yielding positive results. We look forward to the Independent Panel on Forestryís report, now due out in July, making positive recommendations for strengthening, rather than undermining, the FCís role in supporting Community Woodlands such as ours.


Three important forthcoming dates for your diary are firstly our Family Planting Day on Saturday 12th May from 10am, when we will be planting native wildflowers along the route of the new Pond-Crater walk which is the subject of a new leaflet that FHW Committee member Tony Hudson has been busy designing in recent weeks. The second is a Jubilee Party in the wood on the afternoon of Saturday 14th July from 2pm to 4pm to celebrate our recent work in the wood. The third is our AGM on Wednesday 23rd May at 8pm in Dunnington Reading Room, which will be followed by a presentation by Bob Missin,  Countryside Officer of the City of York Council on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity in the York Area.


The Agenda for the formal business at the AGM . If you would like to stand for the committee, or nominate another member for the committee, please send your nominations to me at  davidmays10@gmail.com by 9th May 2012. If you wish to propose an amendment to the Constitution please refer to paragraph 9 of our Constitution,


There are therefore again plenty of reasons for you to renew your annual subscription if you do not pay by Standing Order (see membership form).  We have once again kept our subscription fees unchanged at one of the lowest for many local organizations, and paying now will give you membership until 31st May 2013.


Yours sincerely


Dr David Mayston



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