Friends of Emery Down
In the summer of 2015 the owners of Emery Down Wood, Aldworth Road (opposite the end of School Lane) placed it up for sale. It was suggested that the village might try to buy it to prevent development and to allow public access. To enable the purchase to take place without complications, a charity 'Friends of Emery Down' (Reg. Charity No. 1162730) was established. Further information on the trustees and the aims of the charity can be found here.
11/03/2018 - Woodworkers Wanted!
The keen eyed amongst you will I have seen three notices go up in the wood over the last few months. ‘Olive’s Copse’ which was a request of the family that we bought the land from and two recent notices advising people that they could use the wood at their own risk. This has been particularly useful advice with the recent high winds which brought down much more of the oak at Aldworth road end of the wood. Earlier in the year it had appeared that there was a newly leaning tree which led to a temporary footpath closure. Following further investigation it was confirmed that the tree was safe and stable.
The work linked to the Planning application for clearing hollies round various large trees has continued apace, with lots more space around some of them, particularly those near the footpath. Thanks to Edward Golton and his helpers for carrying this out. More to be done. We will have had a working party with the West Berkshire volunteers by the time the CN comes out which we will have publicised to ‘our’ volunteers.
The snowdrops we planted on the Aldworth road gate mostly survived the attentions of Gigaclear and have emerged but not all flowered. Those further up the road under the trees survived the deer predation and are also looking good, thanks Helen and family for doing these. On the Ashampstead road those round the gate are looking good but those further up the road in the edge of the trees have really taken a hammering from the deer and are a bit sparse. Those alongside the path in the wood are also a bit sparse but are flowering. We may plant some foxgloves in the spring.
Two of the trustees went to a local talk about a wood near Henley, which its owner has been researching and investigating. It’s a 10 acre beech wood so quite different from ours. But he has looked at all the resources in the wood, including making tiles from the clay soil and glass from the flints and stones. He also got some of the large trees planked up and had some furniture made. Whilst a lot of what he did is beyond our resources, there may be opportunity to use some fallen or felled wood for some projects. A lot of the excess wood is likely to be chipped as it is very small stuff but there will be some useable wood. Mainly Oak but other wood too, possibly Cherry and Hawthorn. If there are any woodworkers who have access to sawmills/power machinery, or who do work turning or other woodwork, and would be interested please contact me and we can work with you. We’d welcome any advice too.
We would ask however that people do not help themselves to wood as the fallen wood is a real tangle and the area is potentially dangerous. We have already had people take (steal) wood, using chainsaws and saws; if anyone is seen working in the wood who isn't a trustee or part of a working party please let one of us know (Peter Twitchett, David Goosey, Edward Golton or Mark Stanley) making a note of any vehicles involved.
Anne Dewing, Trustee of FOED - 01491 671266
Snowdrop Update - 28/02/2018
Some of you were involved in planting snowdrops on the edge of the wood this time last year, so I thought I’d give you and update. Those on the Aldworth road gate mostly survived the attentions of Gigaclear and have emerged but not all flowered. Those further up the road under the trees survived the deer predation and are also looking good, thanks Helen and family for doing these.
On the Ashampstead road those round the gate are looking good but those further up the road in the edge of the trees have really taken a hammering from the deer and are a bit sparse. Those alongside the path in the wood are also a bit sparse but are flowering.
I’m not sure if we’ll be planting any this year, I am hoping to transplant some foxgloves at some point. We are hoping to have further working parties in the spring to carry on clearing holly. We have the West Berkshire volunteers booked in to do some work in the spring, details to follow.
Click here for the March Country Neighbour Article from the Friends of Emery Down.
19th January, Pang Valley Conservation Volunteers arrived bright and early at Emery Down Wood to carry out some conservation work to create a wonderful woodland classroom for Basildon CE Primary School. Over the course of the day not only was the classroom completed, but the volunteers also achieved our aim of removing some of the brambles growing amongst the cherry trees and cutting a substantial amount of ivy from roadside trees, in order to prepare them for a safety assessment.
Friends of Emery Down would like to thank the West Berkshire Countryside Society volunteers for all their hard work and for making the day both productive and fun.
Click here to see some photos from the day.
On Tuesday 19th January we will be carrying out some initial
work in the woodland in conjunction with Pang Valley Countryside Volunteers.
The main aim on Tuesday will be to create a woodland classroom for Basildon Primary school, establishing an open sitting area by removing small holly seedlings and making some dead
trees safe. In addition we are hoping to remove some of the brambles in amongst
cherry trees and cut ivy off roadside trees so they can be properly assessed
for safety. Some notable large trees have been identified
and marked up as such. The trustees will be on hand during the day to answer any questions you may have. Please be assured that the work is in line with our vision for a safe, naturally regenerating woodland that will bring pleasure to our community for generations.