Last Wednesday, the 15th February, the National Trust held their annual scrub bash on Mickleham Downs, particularly the Mickleham Gallops. Around 30 people volunteered their time to help with this conversation project. Although mostly National Trust workers and volunteers, there was also several members of the local community and of course, the Juniper Hall team which consisted of me and Kate (placement students), Sarah Bradford (head of grounds) and JH volunteer Bob.
The purpose of the day is to reclaim the land from the woods and encourage the natural chalk woodland plants to grow. A big part of the day was breaking up the crafted lines of scrubs that mark out the old runway which is an unnatural feature that the National Trust is slowly trying to get rid of.
The second main job was to remove dogwood. Dogwood is an invasive species and so to protect the other plant life it needs to be removed so the natural chalk grassland plants are able to grow.
We had a large bonfire to dispose of all the cuttings as it would be very resource intensive to get rid of it all any other way, but having to drag large amounts of scrub to the fire was very hard work. However, it was nice to stand around the fire and warm up especially when the heaven’s opened, luckily the rain didn’t last long and everyone worked through it!
Overall it was a hard days work but rewarding to see what a difference we can make! It was also a great opportunity to meet and talk to the National Trust people and everyone from the community, they were all very welcoming and friendly which made the day even better!