Green Benchmarking on North Leigh Common!
Herewith some pics of the team of volunteers who have recycled a fallen oak tree on the Common and converted it into four new benches/seats in various locations round the open areas of North Leigh Common.
The oak was recorded some years ago when WODC surveyed all the trees on the common and we found its identity marker no 4598. It blew over in a storm last winter and was lying mostly on the ground. The remains of the tree will gradually rot away where it fell and be home to lots of bugs etc.
Much thanks to Robert Crocker, farmer from Freeland who drove his all terrain loader and helped us lift these heavy logs (circa 600KG each) from where the tree had fallen, into position - where the team then levered them up onto bearers - made of sections of branch off the same tree.
This was all Andy Killingbeck's idea - so well done him suggesting the plan. We have also renovated an existing log bench which has been in situ about 13 years and had sunk into the ground and started to rot albeit slowly - it's been raised up a bit to keep the main log clear of the ground. Andy, resident of North Leigh, had sawed the tree up and cut out the branches he then carved into bearers for each log - brilliant job, Andy.
We hope everyone using the common can take advantage of the new benches/ seats which we hope will suit most users. The bark has been left on each trunk, but will in due course come off leaving the bare timber that has probably taken over 100 years to grow.... so you can sit on a piece of local history.
Thanks also to local volunteer regulars Steve Legg and Andy Clements who helped as well.
In passing the common is looking great with swathes of lady's bedstraw and heath bedstraw, rest harrow, common centaury, hoary cinquefoil, campion, lesser st johns wort, bits of yellow rattle in places, mallow, agrimony, harebells and last of the orchids in and around the fringe of the open areas and no doubt many more other will know - plus good show of butterflies including marbled whites, commas, small tortoiseshell, red admiral, silver washed fritillary, skipper, ringlet, meadow brown and gatekeeper. Further in to the common patches of heather are reestablishing really well in one glade and we hope to encourage it by keeping the bracken at bay.
There are a number of lizards that sun themselves on the logs by the entrance from the car park... cute little critters!
The green woodpecker is a regular visitor the many ants nests on the open area.