The Senior Ranger to be heard.
The Senior Ranger was heard regarding the Annual Work Programme 2018/19 and 2019/20 and the following points were made.
Annual Work Programme 2018/19
· ‘District 10’ of veteran tree management had been completed involving 85 trees re-trenched. 2000 volunteer hours had been provided on works to undertaken ‘halo’ release works. Specialist climbers had undertaken the works at higher levels and volunteers at lower levels. Some of the halo cuttings had been used to create eco-piles for insects and mammals.
· The upgrade of Two Bridges had been completed in August 2018.
· Surrey Wildlife Trust had grazed eight animals across five areas on the Common during May-September 2018.
· 250 Common Spotted orchids had been seen in the areas where scrub had been cleared by previous work programme works.
· Volunteering had been extremely successful, involving groups such as the Ashtead Common Volunteers. A complete summer survey of migrant birds had been conducted.
· A Member welcomed the recent Lord Mayoral event for volunteers at Mansion House.
· The Senior Ranger added that two-thirds of bracken on the Phoenix field had been pulled by hand and the rest sprayed. Cattle grazing had helped to trample the bracken further, whilst other areas had been flail mown. Scrub clearance had been completed over winter.
· The Ashtead Village Day on the Common had been an opportunity to launch the Common’s ‘vision’ and to take the first comments on the 2021-2031 Plan.
Annual Work Programme 2019/20
· Veteran tree management works would commence on ‘District 3’.
· The Phoenix grazing area would be extended to the western boundary, doubling the overall grazing area.
· Significant scrub clearance would be conducted across the lower slopes and woodland.
· Volunteering work and conservation work would continue to be celebrated.
· A major bat survey would be conducted to assess their impact on tree management.