Friends of Batchwood held their AGM on Sunday 13th May, as usual in the picnic area of the woods. In pleasant, if not exactly warm, weather, after the meeting we enjoyed our usual barbecue, with the salads and desserts so generously and deliciously donated by our members. Thanks to them all. The officers of FoB were re-elected – a full report will be found, in due course, in the ‘About Us’ section.
During the course of the meeting one of our members – Kate Bretherton – told us that she would be updating her book, ‘The Remarkable Trees of St Albans’ and would like some help to do so. She intends to keep the book much as it was but add an index and add, as end notes, any changes and new information.
Please would Friends let Kate know of any
– changes they have noticed since 2010,
– trees or tree issues they think ought to be shared;
– improvements to the book that they would like to see in the update.
Such communications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or Kate Bretherton, Flint Barn, Norrington End, Redding Lane, Redbourn, AL3 7QN.
She also told us that St Albans Council are committed to planting replacement trees where commemorative or significant ones need to be removed in the course of management works. To assist the council with identifying occasions when it would be desirable for replacement trees to be planted, SADC would like to identify trees of significance in the district. For this to happen, we residents of the District need to:
– decide what criteria should be used to decide whether a tree is ‘of community value’: some historical connection? aesthetic significance? personal or emotional association (e.g. planted in memory of a person, planted by nursery school children or a mayor)? or is a community amenity (e.g. children love to climb on it, hide in it; teenagers like to meet under it)?
– identify trees that fit the accepted criteria;
– nominate the person/organisation to be contacted if an identified tree will be affected – and keep updated the contact details of the person.
– create a record of the tree including its exact location and description and the contact details of the person nominated to be contacted.
We don’t want to overload the Council Officers, so we need to be careful about which criteria are accepted, and which trees fit the criteria. To start the process, Kate Bretherton is setting up a St Albans Tree Group, email address email@example.com, to work in association with St Albans Tree Wardens Scheme, and the Council is planning a tutorial on how to identify and record trees on line. This will take place in September in Verulamium Park.
If you would like to be part of the Group deciding which trees should be protected and helping to record them, please send your email address to Kate Bretherton using email address firstname.lastname@example.org. In case Kate falls
under a bus, your details will be shared with Pete Cutforth, Heartwood Volunteer. All data will be kept securely and not shared with any other party without your express permission.
Just a reminder – FoB works to preserve and improve the 11 acres of semi-ancient woodland that comprise our small Batch Wood. We welcome support and new members – if you would be interested in joining please contact Caroline on email@example.com. (The annual subscription for 2018/19 is £3 for individuals and £5 for families – but will increase for 2019/20).
The weather in the 10 days prior to the AGM had been very warm, but the bluebells just about survived to look beautiful for the customary ‘around the wood’ walk. The on/off weather over the spring and early summer has produced – in turn – the best hawthorn blossom for years, amazing elder flowers, wild roses and honeysuckle – all creamy and pink colours. They have been a delight.
And on a recent [16th June] walk, we noticed these on the stump of a sycamore that was felled – for safety reasons – earlier in the year. It looked as if someone had left some boiled eggs there. An hour after the photograph was taken, the largest ‘egg’ had been damaged, revealing a central stalk – like a mushroom – and the ‘cap’ that had been knocked off also had gills like mushroom. They were all bright white.