Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Reptile refugia.

East Herts have provided a quantity of small rectangular shaped pieces of black corrugated roofing material called refugia. 36 of these have been placed in sunny positions throughout the Park. Not only do they provide a refuge for reptiles but also a warm place where they can bask in the sun.


Maintaining reptile habitat.

During February a small group of friends cut back bramble which was threatening to overwhelm  Common Lizard site on the west of the Park. This has paid dividends as Common Lizards have been seen basking in the recent warm weather.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Ancient Hornbeam.

During February 2012 and ancient Hornbeam in the north-west corner of the park was felled because it was felt it was a safety hazard. This was very unfortunate as it was probably one of the oldest trees on the Park. The tree had been coppiced and as such probably predated the existence of the Park, the tree would have been taken into the Park when it was formed which means that it was growing in these 1700s. The tree had three main stems and was very large.

Because the tree had been brutally felled without knowledge of its historic importance, East Herts agreed to construct a barrier around it to prevent damage by browsing animals and to give it every chance, however slight of recovery.

Mercifully, and against all the odds, there happened to be some small shoots on the north side of the stump. Friends have added some chicken wire to prevent rabbits gaining access and to date these small shoots are growing well so we shall keep our fingers crossed.

Big Dig 2012

During August 2012 a series of 1 m square test pits were dug over the site of an old building on the Park. The Friends were ably assisted in this task by local archaeologists Caroline Baigent and Wally Wright.

Over the two days we dug up a lot of building materials, pottery and bone.

On the afternoon of the second day we uncovered a cobbled courtyard and a brick set floor.
There appears to have been a thick layer of gravel laid over the area probably to help with the drainage.
Currently, we do not know the use for the yard and floor. The Tithe Map gives the area as "cattle sheds".
It is possible that the small building may be a milking shed. Hopefully, they excavation to be carried out in 2013 will help further with the explanation.