Sustainabaility In Action 1 - trees, woods and liberation

Volunteer power is continuing to transform Hackney's green landscape from over managed, conservative parkland into wildlife friendly, sustainable playgrounds for all. This is possible thanks to local experts, small grants and hours of dedicated volunteering.

2013 - the story so far

This season's Wick Woodland workshops began in late December 2012 and last weekend we completed the third session.

In a continuation of HMUG's annual maintenance we are:

  • coppicing hazel to produce local products (pea sticks, bean poles, hurdle material);
  • building long deadhedges as cover for small mammals, small birds as well as habitat for fungi, beetles and other invertebrates;
  • creating other deadwood habitat;
  • diversifying the woodland structure;
  • building seating for visitors;
  • and providing new access routes for people to walk through the woods.

In addition to all of the above the workshops provide a rare opportunity for Hackney's urban population to get hands on experience of woodland management.  Many of those who have attended so far have expressed relief and joy for the liberation of being able to play in the woods; a stark contrast from the pressures and aggravations of life in the dogfight of capitalistist insanity.

The success of HMUG's management strategy is illustarted by the combined benefits to people and wildlife.  The humans articulate their rewarding experiences but to know the wildlife benefits you need a little ecological expertise. Last May I found several black-headed Cardinal beetles on the stump of a birch tree we felled in 2007.  These are rare deadwood beetles never recorded so close to the centre of London.

It is possible to share the planet in harmony.

If you want to get invloved sign up for one of the last two sessions on 17th Feb or 3rd March.

Hedgehog house before being buried in a deadhedge.

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