• White Clawed Crayfish Monitoring & More

    Update on the Crayfish. In Sweden a crayfish party is a traditional summertime eating and drinking celebration. In the 1960’s stocks of crayfish throughout Europe were affected by a crayfish plague. In the 1970’s signal crayfish were introduced from North America to the UK as a commercial initiative for export…

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  • Disabled Ramblers in the Picturesque Landscape.

    One of the earliest tasks I was involved in was to do with accessibility when we as Rangers were replacing all our old stiles with gates. Accessibility has often cropped up in conversation as it did one day whilst considering what the Fishpool Valley project might end up looking like.…

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  • Are there any Dormice in the Fishpool Valley?

    That was the question. We don’t think so but is it likely we would have seen them as we go crashing around with chainsaws & strimmers. Why the interest? It’s all to do with the Fishpool Valley project, the picturesque landscape movement and the plans to restore the valley to…

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  • A plan that has come to fruition

    Back in December 2015 I did an article called Clear Felling Croft Wood; this was part of a long term plan for the restoration of the woods at Croft. The initial proposal for this work was set out in 2010. The proposal was I believe based upon the documentary evidence…

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  • The Big Survey of Bats

    The Croft Castle Parkland supports a variety of both common and rare bat species. We have in past summers held ‘bat hunts’ mainly for children to come and make use of hand held bat detectors, like the one on the right below, to track the bats that frequent the meadow in the…

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  • Ancient Tree Walk

    One of the first things I was made aware of when I began my volunteering here at Croft Castle was the history of, or rather the story behind the Sweet Chestnut avenue for which Croft is renown. These trees can be found on what has been designated the Ancient Tree…

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  • Bracken Rolling on Croft Ambery

    This summer you may have seen Crunchie with two of his cobs working in the wood pasture or perhaps on the lower rampart of the Iron Age Hill Fort as depicted in the video clip above. The Cobs were pulling a roller which is used as a low impact method of…

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  • Monitoring the Condition of the Woodland

    Summer brings an increase in visitors to the parkland and for us as rangers a change of pace in regard to what we are able to do; we are on what industry would term ‘reduced hours’. Until almost the end of August all of our activity is low key maintenance…

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  • Keeping You Posted

    The Postmen & Postwomen of the Parkland. Over the past few years as a group of volunteers, we have been renewing and replacing way-marker posts and signs in order to make the walks in the parkland easier to follow. In fact we have been doing this so frequently we have…

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  • Separating the wood from the trees.

    Much of the work we do as ranger volunteers is related to helping to maintain the woodland. Throughout the parkland there are numerous ancient and veteran trees, interestingly all have been tagged and their positions recorded in recent times; when looking at old maps of the estate there is evidence…

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