Fringe Box



Along The Wey & Arun Canal Trust, March 2016

Published on: 17 Mar, 2016
Updated on: 15 Mar, 2016

Introducing a regular update from the Wey & Arun Canal Trust, which is restoring a waterway which once ran 23 miles from Shalford to Pallingham in West Sussex. The trust has established the Hunt Nature Park, where the canal route meets the River Wey, at Shalford as part of its aim to create a green corridor for wildlife and recreation.

Along the Wey & Arun CanalThe Hunt Nature Park team has been on an away day to Leatherhead for a Surrey Wildlife Trust training day. This was a course on willow crafts and the team can thoroughly recommend it. As soon as one project had been explained the tutor, Julie, was demonstrating another idea to try.

As there is plenty of new willow growing in the park’s osier bed, there will be no shortage of supplies. There are a number of “artisan” objects made from willow in the trust’s Northern Office at Shalford and in due course, when the trust has a visitor centre in the park, the team will take commissions.

The osier bed in Hunt Nature Park at Shalford is producing copious amounts of willow whips.

The osier bed in Hunt Nature Park at Shalford is producing copious amounts of willow whips.

It was a wildly exciting morning when it was discovered that blue tits are finding the new nesting boxes in the park. One popped his head into the south-facing box and disappeared inside for quite a time. It was assumed he was measuring for carpets in advance of nest building.

Nuthatches and long-tailed tits have been seen on the bird feeders, which were made by the trust’s lengthsman for the area, Mike Hobbs, using offcuts from the viewing platform alongside the Wey-South Path.

Fieldfares have been glimpsed and a visitor reported seeing two ruddy shelducks, which are most unusual and could well have flown in from Holland.

Mike makes regular circuits of the park to check all is well. He has noticed that the white poplars he planted with help from trust volunteers are growing so much better than the black ones. They are now about three feet high, whereas the black poplars are barely getting their heads above the tree guards.

With spring approaching, the wildlife is really stirring in the park, whose entrance is via the Wey-South Path, near the junction with Trunley Heath Road on the A281 at Shalford. Come and look out for birds arriving for the nesting season and seasonal flowers bursting into bloom from the viewing platform.

Don’t forget that the trust has plenty of logs available – all you need to do is phone 01483 505566 or email to arrange a suitable time for collection. A donation in return would be appreciated.


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