Young Wychwood Project volunteers have been planting trees alongside the Wharf Stream on the land near Swinford Lock as part of the wider woodland-creation scheme that is under way there.
In contrast to the willow coppice that is to occupy most of the site, this smaller section of trees is a more traditional mix of native woodland species including ash, alder, hazel and a mix of shrub willow, dogwood and hawthorn. The new planting is intended to soften the visual impact of the industrial buildings on the northern side of the Wharf Stream as well as provide additional habitat diversity. Funding for the new trees came courtesy of eforests.
The planned short-rotation willow coppice within the new fencing has suffered two years in a row from the heavy summer floods. The County Council, who planted this area, are discussing a further replanting with their biomass advisors. Interestingly there are signs of some first shoots of willow growing from fragments of roots that have survived the floods. This however is patchy and seems to reflect slight local variations in ground level.
The new permissive access in this area means that people can now get close to the Wharf Stream along most of its length, and without being troubled by the cattle. Other plans for the area, including pollarding of the old willows and other access improvements, will be undertaken as and when resources can be found.