OS Map 196, Grid Ref SU565130
Client: Shedfield Parish Council
The village of Shedfield lies within its own common, an area of acid grassland, heath and woodland. In the past the local villagers would have had commoners right to this land, enabling them to graze livestock, cut areas for hay and animal bedding and collect firewood, to list but a few activities allowed. Now in recent times these activities which would have kept the common 'open' no longer continue and so it has become degraded over the years to the detriment of its flora and fauna.
Over the past few years the Parish Council have been managing areas of open habitat through regular mowing but recently they commissioned a report on the common that recommended some more drastic action to save many of the important habitats found here, such as heathland and wet grassland areas and this is where we come in.
Two days, one wet, one dry, made a big difference to an overgrown area of wet grassland.
Our lunchtime break from holly cutting included the novel trial of toasting tea-cakes on the bonfire. The best technique involved putting the fork through the side so that it could easily be rotated. If that was too much of a shock, traditional marsh-mellows were also available. Picture by Jenny.
Our tasks in September and October will be to remove scrub from an area of the common.
Meet at 10am at the car park behind Heathlands, Shedfield. If heading north from Wickham on the A334 follow this road until it becomes the B2177 Winchester road, heading to Bishops Waltham (the A334 turns off left). Take the next right into High Street and then the first right into Heathlands. Go straight along the road, not round to the left, until it ends at a car park on the left behind the houses.
If coming from Botley on the A334, shortly after entering Shedfield you'll come to a T-junction. Turn sharp left on to the B2177 then follow the instructions above. Look out for our white van and yellow signs.