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Sep 20

Play Lane Millennium Green Autumn Update 2023

As I write my autumnal report, the strong winds blow and squally rain beats upon the west-facing window. Tomorrow will be the vernal equinox, daylight will be equal to darkness. It is a good time to walk through the Green when the wind is high, you see a lot more with regard to the general health and condition of the trees and the environment.

A systematic walk over all the footpaths ensures a round view from various aspects, which gives a really good idea of the condition of the understorey, mid-storey and top canopy of the wood, as well as the ground condition.

You will be pleased to hear that despite the challenging weather this year, the maintenance work undertaken during the winter has paid dividends. The canopy has filled the gaps left by the ash tree removal plan and the understorey has benefitted from the extra light as has the wood floor. Our mature old oaks have also spread into the gaps left by thinning. The young walnut tree, which is close to the butterfly meadow, is now over four feet tall, which is really good since walnut is a very slow grower and difficult to sustain in a woodland environment. The single elm tree was approximately eight feet tall in our spring update, but now looks to have grown to about twelve feet.

I am very impressed that the replacement walkway has weathered in and is so much safer in wet conditions underfoot. The new native hedgerow looks to have survived the hot-dry period during May to June and John Sims’ memorial birch is showing good growth despite being vandalised last year.

May I offer my congratulations to the team of Trustees and other volunteers. You and Mother Nature are natural partners, together with all our visitors who look to us to safeguard the future of the Green.

Ian Jefferies
Guardian of the Green