Today was precipitous (not weather, but topography): we clambered all over the bridge sides at Rabley Lane. A few years ago, Sustrans removed some of the very large trees (mostly ash and sycamore), whose roots endangered the structure of the bridge. Since then, two things have happened: the trees and have been re-shooting, and other plants have been able to start colonising the space left. This morning, we
removed shoots from some of the old stumps.
If we keep at this, the trees will eventually die. Then, the bridge structure will be safer again: and luckily the environment won’t be much the worse, as sycamore and ash are plentiful in the locality; pruned back some of the growing shrubs.
The ecosystem here is now a bit more diverse, because we found several species that weren’t there before:
- Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea), which will regrow: and has coloured stems and leaves in autumn
- The Wayfaring tree, (Viburnum lantana)
- The woody nightshade (Solanum dulcamara) with bright red shiny (and poisonous to humans) berries