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Badminton School back volunteering on Troopers Hill

We were very pleased to welcome girls and tutors from Badminton School for a work party on Troopers Hill on Tuesday 3rd September 2013. There were two aims, the first was to remove saplings and scrub that pose a threat to the acid heath and grassland that is such an important feature on Troopers Hill; the second aim was for the girls and tutors to get to know each other better at the start of their 6th form courses and to start to become used to working together as a team.

While some of the girls were new to the school others had been there some years. For some girls the plants and wildlife on Troopers Hill were quite different to those in their home countries.

After a briefing about Troopers Hill, an explanation of the tasks to be done and how to use the tools, work started on the slopes above the nursery and Troopers Hill Rd.

Oak saplings had been growing vigorously. Oak trees would shade and kill the grasses, heather and other acid soil loving plants that make Troopers Hill so special.
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All cuttings from such work have to be either be concealed in specific places on Troopers Hill or removed from the site completely. It is important that the soil is kept poor for existing plants and wildlife to thrive. Bristol City Council's Parks team remove sacks of cuttings after work parties. Two yellow bags of the type shown on the right of this photo are often left full to the brim for the parks team to collect.
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Bramble grows amongst the plants on the hill and will eventually kill most competitors. Early removal is most effective. In some areas of the Hill bramble has been left deliberately to provide food and shelter for some small mammals, birds and invertebrates.
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More bramble going into the bag.
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In the foreground you can see some of the heather that is being rescued by Badminton School's work.
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More work going on about the nursery.
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Cutting out oaks from among the heather.
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Hawthorn saplings are another problem. Birds eat the berries and then "plant" the seed nicely packaged in "fertiliser".
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Relaxing after a job well done, spot the full bag in the background.
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Next Saturday, 5th October, volunteers will carry on the good work at the regular, monthly work party. http://www.troopers-hill.org.uk/workp.htm

Many thanks to the students and tutors of Badminton School and Chris and Kit our two volunteers who gave their time to be work party leaders for the afternoon. Excellent work with the result we most like to see - the heath and grassland has been given a period of protection as a result of all the hard work and yet most people walking by will not notice any work has been done at all.

We are also extremely grateful to Badminton School for their donation of 100 to the Friends of Troopers Hill.

This was Badminton School's second session of doing voluntary work on Troopers Hill. To see their 2012 work party go to www.troopers-hill.org.uk/forum/Badminton12.htm

More information about volunteering can be found on http://www.troopers-hill.org.uk/volunteering.

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