August: Willow and wildlife

A group of volunteers repairing a fence

The August weather is allowing the volunteer and the team to get outdoors and do some repair works, but we're not alone....

The willow we planted in a small landslip has taken really well and will hopefully help to stabilise the bank and prevent further slippage.

Willow is a very fast growing tree and is tolerant of water around its roots so is the perfect species for the job. Unfortunately, this ‘soft engineering’ approach is only viable on small areas of landslide and certainly not the solution to the scale of damage seen through Walks Wood. 

With Walks Wood closed it’s the perfect opportunity to explore Morralee and the Tarn and hopefully spot a Red Squirrel. This one was caught on camera from the path that heads up to the Tarn so keep your eyes peeled and listen for the rustle of leaves as they scamper through the branches above your head.

A kingfisher has also been spotted recently on the Allen and with reported sightings of a Goshawk in the woods there’s plenty to be looking for as you explore the paths that are open. If you do see anything and even better manage to get a picture please share them with us via the links below.

Areas of the woods remain closed for your safety while more in-depth surveys are completed to inform us how best to proceed with reinstating access where we can. We’ll keep you updated on progress but in the meantime ask you to respect the closures and follow the diversions in place, ensuring your dog is on a lead through any farmer’s fields.

Fixing broken fences is one of the many jobs the weekly conservation volunteer group helps with and there’s always space for new people to join.

Working across all the sites in the Hadrian’s Wall and Tyne Valley Group there is a wide variety of tasks to get involved with including coppicing, tree felling, dry stone walling and many more.

There are also a number of less physical volunteer roles from bird surveyors to visitor welcomers at Housesteads Fort, amongst others.