Noticeboard

CONCLUSIONS FROM THE PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE NEXT 5 YEAR MANAGEMENT PLAN

Mountfield entrance to the Woodland Walk

 
The Trustees have considered the results of the Management Plan Consultation and have drawn conclusions after taking account of the requirements of the Trust Deed, and the judged likelihood of sufficient fund raising. The latter like the Consultation itself will be more difficult as a result of Covid 19.
Any planned action will be subject to required approvals and consents.

TRUSTEES’ PROPOSALS
 
1.    RESTORATION OF THE ENTRANCE TO THE WOOD AND MEADOW FROM MOUNTFIELD INCLUDING THE WALL.
 
Why do this?
  To make the start of the walk more attractive and rebuild a historic feature which was the original entrance to the “pleasure grounds” of Downe Hall.
 
What you said and the Trustees’ Conclusion
.   Nearly 93% of respondents were in favour. This was the most popular choice for improvement. Individual comments included: “the piles of dumped debris signals neglect” and “for too many years it has resembled a builder’s yard and it gives a poor impression of an otherwise pleasant walk” as a result, work has already begun to clear it up. The pillar and wall restoration will however be a long project including the need for planning approval as part of the Grade II*Registered Park and Garden and grants.
 
2.    RESTORE THE “ICE HOUSE” ADJACENT TO THE ENTRANCE. 
 
Why do this?
  Again, to restore a historic feature, which would show how in the past wealthy people managed before electricity and refrigeration.
 
What you said and the Trustees’ Conclusion.
    Nearly 80% were in favour of this. The second highest decision after the renovation of the entrance walk. The building is locally known as the Ice House, but Trustees decided evidence of this was needed in the first instance to help gain funding. The renovation will be considered in conjunction with the entrance work.
 
 
3.    PLANTING OF PARKLAND TREES, ALLOWING CLEAR VIEWS FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM OF THE MEADOW AND TO THE SEA.
 
Why do this?
  Trees in the open provide biodiversity. Oaks in particular need light and space. An open grown tree has a large crown and limbs spread horizontally. Individually such trees provide six times more leaf cover than a woodland tree with 360 degrees of niches and cover for wildlife. They provide homes for lichen, invertebrates, birds and bats with 700000 leaves produced by an oak every year. Planting a few individual trees can be achieved relatively inexpensively. In addition, a few trees will help to conserve the historic parkland appearance.
 
What you said and the Trustees’ Conclusion.
  78% of respondents were in favour. Trustees saw this as a very cost effective wildlife enhancement measure. Care will be taken in deciding locations for planting, to avoid interrupting some of the panoramic views. Individual sponsors will be sought.
 
4.    THIN SECTIONS OF THE WOOD BY GLADES.

Why do this?
  Establishing glades will allow sunlight to reach the ground and encourage more plant species, increase the variety of invertebrates and mammals on the ground and in the canopy where less crowded trees can branch out more. So a more diverse and valuable habitat is provided.
 
What you said and the Trustees’ Conclusion.
  This was the third most popular choice. There were more people who abstained from expressing an opinion, but fewer who disagreed with the work. In the first instance Trustees are to seek help from the Forestry Commission. If this is not available, the advice of a private specialist will be sought. In 2019 a badger survey of the hill was carried out and this has helped establish areas where tree work can be carried out without disturbing badger setts. Work again will involve fund raising.
 
5.    ESTABLISHMENT OF WOODLAND EDGE WITH NATIVE SHURBS AROUND THE MEADOW INVOLVING REFENCING.

  Why do this?
  An ecological assessment in 1998 concluded the hill lacked a woodland edge habitat with an abrupt transition from the field to the woodland. It could be enhanced by planting certain areas with native shrubs to soften the straight edges of the existing field.” From a wildlife point of view native species which produce attractive flowers and berries would be ideal”.
 
What you said and the Trustees’ Conclusion.
  This had nearly 79% of respondents in favour. It was seen by Trustees as a valuable ecological measure but as relatively expensive – involving refencing and ongoing maintenance to allow species to become established. Areas of the steeper meadow slopes could be used after advice from a conservationist.
 
6.    REPLANTING THE HEDGE AND INSTALLING A PROTECTIVE FENCE ON THE APPROACH ROAD TO MOUNTFIELD
 
Why do this ?
    The hedge is overgrown with brambles, uneven and very thick in places.
 
What you said and the Trustees’ Conclusion.
 75% of respondents favoured replacement with a hedge. This was the lowest percentage preference of all the suggested improvements. Ten per cent of the respondents did not have an opinion on this and 31% felt railings rather than a hedge would be good. These responses with the anticipated cost of clearing the area sufficiently to remove the brambles, new hedging and a protective fence resulted in the Trustees concluding that it would be better to initially try to improve the existing hedge, rather than renew it.
 
The Trust would now be grateful for your views on their conclusions before finalising the next 5 Year  Management Plan, please email us at bridportmillenniumgreen@gmail.com  with any comments you have or write to the Bridport Millennium Green  Trust C/O Bridport Town Council Rax Lane, Mountfield, Bridport, DT6 3JP. We would like to hear from you by 20th December 2020.
If you would like to help with any of these projects please email us at the
Thank you for your participation.                                 
                                                                                                               2/11/202O PRB 7.11 EB.

Badger Survey 2019– Bridport Millennium Green

During the summer of 2019 a survey of Badger Setts was carried out on the Meadow and surrounding woodland to investigate their extent and to provide information for any tree thinning management to be carried without disturbing the Badgers. In 1997 a report expressed misgivings about the effect that the woodland path and opening the area to the public would have on Badgers. This year’s survey shows those doubts to have been unfounded.

The 2019 Survey has recorded 348 holes, with 29 classified as active and 183 Partially Used. Consequently it can still be said, as it was in the 1997 report, that the woodland is “literally riddled with holes”. That survey did not count holes; this time GPS as well as traditional techniques have been used to do so. The area is particularly suitable for badgers, with its steep sloping sandy ground in the Woodland.

The proximity of the surrounding houses has isolated the ground and leads to the conclusion that the setts belong to a single social group of Badgers. These houses also provide a valuable food source.

During the survey foxes, deer and smaller mammals were also observed.