2015 Task List ready!  2014 was certainly a busy year for our volunteers.  As well as Balsam Bashing during the middle part of the year the group also removed the posts and fencing surrounding the gorse bushes close to the heathland - we think that you'll all agree that this is a great improvement.  We also spent a chilly couple of hours in January collecting litter from the woodland - especially the area next to Monkmead Lane. A new project was also started last year - pond creation.  Ponds are a very valuable resource for our wildlife, especially invertebrates.  We'll bring you more news on our Pond creationprogress later in 2015.  As you can see from the photograph we've already made a great start!

Spring is just around the corner and Monkmead Wood is home to a multitude of wild flowers, birds, insect and reptiles, some of which even the volunteers haven't had an opportunity to identify!  Over the past 7 years we have not only held regular flower and fungi safaris in the woodland but have also started to create our own species log for Monkmead Wood and below are just some of those already identified - and the area of heathland where they were spotted. You'll find more information about all of the species here on this website just click on the relative tab above. 

Enchanters Nightshade OrchidNuthatch Trees on heathland7

 Invasive Species in Monkmead Wood & Commercial Balsam Bashing events for 2015 - Himalayan Balsam will continue to be one of MWVG's priority tasks.  The group have worked very hard over the past few years to contain this plant and prevent its spread throughout the woodland.  As you may already be aware, Balsam has no natural predators (making the job of controlling it even more difficult).  However the continued hard work of the volunteer group has cleared an enormous area close to Ken's Crossing and now in Spring Red Campion covers an area which was previously encased by Himalayan Balsam.  We are hoping to set up more Commercial Charity Days which have been so successful in the past with RSA so if you know anyone who might wish to take part in a Balsam Bashing event in 2015 please do let us know!

 HB001HBCredcampionRSA 1 group



 Have you found anything interesting or unusual ?Wood Ant worker

Or perhaps seen anything that might be of interest to people in the village and surrounding areas ? Let us know and we'll try to find a place here on the site so others can find out what's going on 'around our patch'. (Photo right Worker Wood Ant).

Please telephone Amanda (West Chiltington Tree Warden) on (01798) 813229 or drop us a line by e-mail at info@monkmeadwoods.co.uk


Monkmead Wood's historical past
Monkmead Wood is a site rich in history.  From a Roman Road which disects the site, to its connections with World War 2, it's a fascinating place and home to many species of wildlife too.
At just under 28.5 acres it can boast both wet and dry heathlands, a SSSI and varied broadleaf deciduous tree species (some of which are featured on this site). 
Some clues as to the woodland's past ownership are still visible today.  Ornamental tree planting of huge pines are thought to have been planted by the owners of Monkmead Place, a large residential house opposite the woodland, back in 18th or 19th Century.

Remains of the Candian Army camp from World War 2 are visible throughout the woodland even today, these range from ceramic telephone lines to brick foundations from administration buildings.  

The woodland itself is owned by Horsham District Council and it has been working closely with MWVG for the past 7 years to continue to preserve this site for many generations to come. 
One of the tasts that the volunteer group are involved in every year is heathland preservation.  Although the group spend many hours removing birch saplings which had colonised the area, some mature trees are a vital component of the heathland as song posts for birds and homes for insects.  If the encroachment of birch was not kept under control their coverage of the heathland would reduce the light reaching the woodland floor and seriously affect the conditions required for heathland species making it difficult for them to re-establish in the area.
The next time you're walking in the woodland see if you can spot those ceramic phone lines from World War 2!