DRY Project researchers celebrated British Science Week 2017 with a visit to Savage’s Wood, part of the Three Brooks Nature Reserve in Bradley Stoke, Bristol. Savages Wood is an ancient woodland that was originally managed as a source of timber, especially oak and hornbeam. It is an important habitat for reed buntings, skylarks, great crested newts and slow worms.
We met members of the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group and some pupils from Bradley Stoke Community School to talk about how to identify and measure trees, and how the ecosystem services approach can be used to help understand the value of trees. We had a very good discussion about how trees help to intercept water that might otherwise be lost as runoff and of the impacts of both drought and water logging on tree growth.
In spite of an icy breeze and overcast skies around eighteen people turned out to help us measure some of the veteran oak trees. One magnificent tree was 30.25 m tall and 2.37m in girth, the record girth in our sample was 2.68m on a tree that was 21.05 m tall.
The school pupils were taking part in the School News Report Day and after helping to measure trees interviewed one of team for their news report.
Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group meet each week to carry out conservation work in the woodland and are always happy for new people to join them (http://www.three-brooks.info/).
More information about the reserve can be found at http://www.southglos.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/countryside/nature-reserves-woodlands/three-brooks-local-nature-reserve/