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Volunteers help to save heathland
12:50pm Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in News
VOLUNTEERS have helped to save an important piece of heathland.
The Friends of Hocombe Mead group took action to protect and improve the lowland heathland at Chandler’s Ford nature reserve Hocombe Mead, which was being swamped by rhododendron, bracken and rough grasses.
Common heather that forms much of the lowland heathland is now very rare and a declining habitat around Britain. In Eastleigh only 18 hectares or habitat classed as lowland heath remains.
The volunteers removed the invading plants and replaced them with more heather plants.
John Caplen took on the job of taking cuttings from the original plants to grow plants from seeds, producing more than 1,000 new plants. In the last five years, these have been re-introduced to the original area, and two new areas have been planted up nearby.
Most of the new plants have flowered this summer.
This in turn provided nectar for bees and other insects and a habitat for slow-worms and toads.
Eastleigh Borough Council funded the project.
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