Cubbington Action Group held a public meeting and woodland talk at Cubbington village hall on Thursday 4th June. The Group’s 5th AGM since its formation in 2010 included a written review of the past year from Chairman Peter Delow, with his additional comments on the outcome of the general election and its significance for HS2. The meeting appointed an unchanged management committee and accounts were presented.
The main event of the evening was an illustrated talk on Princethorpe Woodlands Living Landscapes by Chris Redstall, Living Landscapes Officer of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. Introducing the speaker, Peter Delow commented ‘South Cubbington Wood, which HS2 would destroy, is one of 20 woods that comprise the Princethorpe Woodlands complex, a feature that has been described as “the most important cluster of ancient woodlands in Warwickshire”. Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, under its Living Landscapes project, has embarked upon a long-term project to survey and improve the quality of the habitat and, most critically, to reduce the effects of habitat fragmentation to produce a large-scale environment for wildlife’’.
Chris Redstall highlighted the national declining populations of many species, mainly due to the activities of man. Warwickshire has only 1.5% ancient broadleaf woodland cover, the lowest of any English county, and the aim of the Trust’s Living Landscapes initiative is to help keep the sights and sounds of nature as part of everyone’s everyday experience. Princethorpe Woods make up about 10 per cent of Warwickshire’s classic English woodland. He described it as a habitat with a high species diversity, identifying some plants and animals that the woods support.
Chris summarised the aims of woodland management which included:
1.Coppicing – to maintain and improve the quality of environment.
- The improvement and restoration of hedgerows to provide corridors for wildlife, linking sites to provide a wildlife-friendly “living landscape”. In the past two years 6km of old hedgerow had been restored and 90km surveyed, with the help of volunteer labour and the co-operation of landowners.
The audience was keen to question him at the end of his talk, showing their interest in the preservation of local woodland. As one of the ancient woodlands, South Cubbington Wood is rich in bluebells, wood anemones and primroses and has been much enjoyed by people on recent guided walks led by the Group which has worked so hard to try and protect it from the devastation of HS2.