The Senior Ranger for Ashtead Common to be heard.
The Senior Ranger for Ashtead Common was heard regarding the Annual Work Programme for 2017/18 and 2018/19.
· All veteran trees were being surveyed and and a comparative analsis underaken with survey data collected in 2012. The current survey had commended in May 2017 but due to a health and safety issue prompted by a high tick populartion had been deferred until this year.
· A Bird Census had been undertaken which had shown most established species were holding up in terms of numbers, with some numbers improving e.g. whitethroats.
· The grazing project had seen a successful summer, with orchid mapping showing over 200 Common Spotted orchids in the Willow grazing area.
· During late summer 2017 a mechanical mulcher had been deployed on areas of bracken to reduce the risk of fire.
· Other surveys included those for dormice and newts.
· A number of successful events had been held on the Common invluding the Woodman 5 Mile run in May 2017, and the Ashtead Common 10km run in September 2017. Both events had been well managed and had little negative impact on the Common.
· The Senior Ranger noted his particualr thanks to a long-standing volunteer Penny Eve, and to Bournemouth University student Sam Kearsey for their contribution to the Common during 2017.
· The Annual Megatask volunteer event involved six rangers and 44 volunteers gathering to cut back hazel on the Common. The day had concluded with a bbq using Ashtead charcoal to bbq Epsom Common raised cattle in a good example of local sustainability.