An update on the work that the Eastleigh Countryside Volunteers are carrying out at the Hiltingbury Lakes site (November 2019 onwards). These tasks are being run by Eastleigh Borough Council in partnership with our partner charity The Conservation Volunteers
Task six (Thursday 23 January)
14 volunteers, the highest number so far, spent a full day cutting cherry laurel out of the western woodland. We also cleared laurel and holly overhanging the paths leading to Lakewood Road and Hiltingbury Road. A tremendous amount was achieved, including a litter pick! Thanks to all the volunteers who helped today. Scroll through the photos above for smiles and action shots.
Task five (Thursday 16 January)
A great start to the new year, with nine volunteers working along the western side of the lake. A huge amount of laurel was cut as the volunteers worked their way along the main lake, reaching the boundary with Hiltingbury Road in super quick time. Countryside staff joined in with their chainsaws to clear trees from the paths following the recent gusty winds. The photos are before and after shots of their tree clearance.
Task four (Thursday 19 December)
Four volunteers headed to the site and spent the morning in the rain cutting and removing laurel from the bank overlooking the main lake.
By the end of the task the team were very soggy but very satisfied with what they had achieved.
Task three (Thursday 5 December)
On Thursday 5 December a fantastic group of nine volunteers turned up on a cold and sunny winter day to get involved.
The above picture shows a before and after view of the pathway once the volunteers had cleared some of the invasive plants.
The team removed more invasive laurel and rhododendron from the path entrance on the western embankment. Once the darkness of the evergreen foliage was removed, it revealed beautiful views of the Main Lake from the path. As well as the invasive plants, the volunteers also removed a small fallen tree from the path.
The group were stopped by passers by who wanted to talk about the work they were doing and to give positive feedback on the transformation, many of them wanting to find out more about the work that was taking place and to offer suggestions of other things they could be doing.
Task two (Thursday 28 November)
The second week of volunteering took place on Thursday 28 November at the Hiltingbury lakes site and was another success, with ten volunteers joining the team on a bright and sunny morning.
The team continued clearing back invasive laurel and rhododendron along the southern path from Lake Road towards Kingsway. The team working at Hiltingbury Lakes would like to thank the returning volunteers and the new volunteers who joined them for their second day of clearing at the site, they gathered evergreen branches and piled them up for the Streetscene workers to collect the next day.
During the day the group were approached by members of the public who stopped to chat to them to find out what they were doing as part of the project, many of them commented with positive comments and walkers were pleased with the improvements made to the footpaths.
The next volunteer day will be on Thursday 5 December, meeting at the the usual place at the southern entrance on Lake Road at 10am.
Task one (Thursday 21 November)
Thursday 21 November was the first day of our team of volunteers at the Hiltingbury Lakes site and it was a great success.
A group of ten volunteers used hand saws, loppers and secateurs to remove non-native invasive laurel from around the entrance way and paths at the southern end of Lake Road. This work helped in making the entrance feel lighter and brighter and the natural broadleaved woodland now provides a more welcoming feel to the site.
The volunteers also cut back mature rhododendron bushes on the eastern side of the Lake, removing branches which were invading the footpath that runs parallel with Lake Road.
Streetscene chipped and removed the piles of cut branches that were left on the verge next to Lake Road.
The volunteers achieved an impressive amount and were very satisfied with their efforts. Many have known the site for years and were very pleased to be helping out with the project.
The volunteer tasks will continue to take place at 10am each Thursday meeting at the southern entrance on Lake Road.