In January 2009 Pauntley Parish Council was successful in its application to the O² ‘It’s Your Community’ fund for a grant of £940 towards the conservation work needed on the small area of common land at Compton Green. This was something that was identified in our Parish Plan in 2007 as a project that many residents supported, with the majority wanting to see left essentially unchanged but with some management for wildlife.
Brenda Bainbridge, then Chair of Pauntley Parish Council, receiving the cheque for £940 from Angela Johnson of O².
This award paid for essential tree surgery to remove unsafe trees, which took place on 28 January 2009, when a representative from O² came along to present the award to us. We also worked with a group of children from Pauntley Primary School, as part of their final year project. They helped us put up bird and bat boxes at the site, provided by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. We will monitor the bird boxes although, as a protected species, the bats cannot be disturbed or handled except by a licensed person.
Mr and Mrs James, from Compton Green, have been watching the wildlife at the site for many years and gave the children records of their sightings. We are continuing to collect further records to send to Gloucestershire Environmental Records Centre, and we have already seen the spread of some plants, such as wild daffodils, where the removal of the trees has opened up the wood, and butterflies have appeared in the clearings too. Clearance of some of the scrub has also taken place and this will be ongoing.
Rosie Woolley from Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, came to run a pond-dipping afternoon with the children, to look for some amphibians and insects to add to the records. We will be setting up a light-trap for moths in the summer months, when we hope to have the help of the schoolchildren, and returning the next morning to record any moths we have found and releasing them back onto the site. If the weather is good we will also be using a bat detector, which will tell us if there are any bats on the site by picking up their echo-location signals and enabling the species to be identified. A native hedge around the perimeter of the site, which it is hoped to plant in the future, will help attract more birds and bats to the site by providing shelter for them and also food (such as berries and seeds), and will also encourage the insects on which some of them feed. We will continue to collect records of wildlife at the site and would be glad of any records of birds, animals, butterflies, plants etc, together with the date. This will help us see if our work is helping wildlife at the site and whether any particular species are benefiting and can be further encouraged.