Tyler Hill Meadow

HACKINGTON PARISH COUNCIL
 
TYLER HILL MEADOW

 

Notes on a meeting of the Management Committee held on Tuesday 15th December 2015 at

3.30pm at 5, Link Road, Tyler Hill

Present: Ray Evison, Irene Pellett, Trish Hulks, Penny Reilly and Lynne Evison

 

Matters arising from a meeting of the Committee held on 2nd December 2014

 

The minutes had been previously circulated and there were no matters arising.

It was noted that the Meadow had not been cut again this autumn and its condition as a result would be monitored next year. It was noted that the ox-eye daisies had been affected by a reduction in numbers but that the orchids had increased in number.

 

It was agreed that RE would write to the Stour Valley organisation to ascertain whether they are still able to assist us in clearing the meadow area of grass and young shrub in the autumn. The Parish Council had budgeted for this work to be undertaken.

 

The road side hedge had again been cut at very modest cost.

 

Involvement of ‘non-local’ bodies in the Reserve.

St Edmund’s School had not volunteered to undertake maintenance work this year but the paths had been cleared by family members of IP’s family and by PR and Re on other occasions.

 

Update of the management plan 2014 – 2019.

The draft management plan will be circulated again and invitations extended to make any observations on it. Once agreed the Plan would be submitted to the Parish Council for onward transmission to the City Council, which still has nominal oversight of the Reserve.

 

Review of Surveys undertaken in 2013.

Dormice : Unfortunately once again no dormice had been observed during the year. The boxes have been cleaned of old nesting materials. Some boxes are in a poor state of repair and two new ones will be purchased. T H to arrange.

Amphibians : We have yet to identify an expert to advise us. We will advertise for assistance.

Birds: L E has recently met with Rob Dixon the Warden for the Blean RSPB reserve and she will contact him for advice on where someone who could survey for us on a regular basis might be found.

Butterflies : I P has observed butterflies this year and reported that 11 species had been observed but as she had been unable to survey in most of August and all September some visitors, like the Painted Lady and Gatekeeper, may have been missed.

Flowers; Irene Pellett and Penny Reilly continued their surveying and have recorded over 32 species. The colony of orchids had increased to 14 this year.

Grasses: Penny Reilly has continued the identification of grasses growing in the Reserve though she would really like to hand responsibility to an expert in the field.

Trees: Lynne Evison has monitored the trees in the Reserve.  There is a large tree down across the path towards the back of the Reserve. R E will deal with it.

Pond: Mike Phillips had surveyed the pond and had observed 5 Alpine newts.

Small mammals: We have not yet secured the services of an expert on small mammals. We will advertise for assistance.

Reptiles: Slowworms were observed on several occasions under the refugia.

 

It was agreed that we should advertise for surveyors of those species that we at present do not have cover for. Penny Whiting would be asked to include information in her Kentish Gazette column and information will be placed on the Parish Council website.

 

 

Surveys in 2016.

The same surveys as in 2015 would be undertaken next year.

 

 

Photographic file.

Irene Pellett has continued her photographic record of the Reserve but had not been able to print off photographs in order to continue our visual record. We will explore the possibility of recruiting a young photography enthusiast to assist with the photographic record of the Reserve.

 

 

Committee members:

 

Ray Evison                   rayevison@btinternet.com

Trish Hulks                    trishahulks@gmail.com

Irene Pellett                  Irene.pellett@btinternet.com

Penny Reilly                  psreilly985@btinternet.com

Nick Pygott                   nickpygott@btinternet.com

Lynne Evison                lynneevison@hotmail.co.uk

 

Hackington Parish Council

                                                                                                  

Tyler Hill Meadow Local Nature Reserve

 

Third five-year management Plan: 2014 – 2019

 

In 2003 Richard Harris, the then Canterbury Greenspace Officer for the Kentish Stour Countryside Project, prepared a five year plan for the reserve.

In 2008 we developed his Plan and prepared a five year management Plan that took us to the end of last year

The Plan described the site, listed the objectives for its management and then described the context of the site in some detail. We listed the various aspects that would need to be considered

 

This update records those matters that have been achieved in the last five years and comments on the several variations that have been thought necessary by observation and experience. It proposes a maintenance plan for the next five years together with a scheme for monitoring flora and fauna.

 

 

1.Site Details

Status:  The Reserve is now registered by Canterbury City Council as a permanent Open Space to which the public have access as well as being a Local nature Reserve

Outside access rights: EDF currently have the right to fell trees within the Reserve beneath the power cables running along the south eastern part of the Reserve.

Access and availability: Access to the site is available permanently from Tyler Hill Road and from footpath CB15 on Fleets Lane.

There is a bus service to nearby Tyler Hill. It is an irregular service across the day and the days of the week.

 

2. Site Description

Unchanged from 2003*.

 

3. Site objectives

Unchanged from 2003

 

4. Ecological relationship and implications for management.

4.1 Neutral grassland.

Unchanged from 2003

 

4.2 Scrub, brambles and woodland

Scrub was cleared in the first two years of management and on advice it was agreed that there should be no further large-scale scrub clearance.

A tree warden for the Parish has been appointed and a tree survey of the reserve undertaken. The proposal to preserve the species composition by encouraging natural regeneration is confirmed. No need for planting has been identified. Two of the large oak trees which boarder the northern boundary have been submitted to the Heritage Trees list for inclusion.

 

4.3 Trees on eastern edge.

The farmer using the pasture to the east of the Reserve requested that large branches on the trees overhanging the Reserve be cut back and this was done in early 2013. The effect has been to allow more light into the eastern side of the Reserve.

 

 

4.4 Wet woodland.

In the five years under review several trees have shed branches, some of them quite large, and several large ash trees have fallen during periods of high winds. Where branches have appeared dangerous because they overhang paths they have been removed and this policy will continue

 

4.4 Pond

It is necessary to have an expert evaluation of the pond’s potential and conservation value.

 

4.5 Hedgerows

The hedgerow along Tyler Hill road has been maintained on a regular basis by cutting both inside and outside. It has been reduced in a height a little, in order to encourage a denser lower growth.

All plantings undertaken to the eastern boundary and along Tyler Hill road appear to have taken, but are slow growing.

 

 

5. Main management operations

5.1 To maintain and enhance the neutral grassland

5.1.1    Continue to maintain the sward and control scrub invasion by cutting back.

On one occasion the hay was burned. The cut hay is now piled and allowed to rot. The management committee’s conclusion is that the hay is best left to rot, in a changing location each year.

The scrub will be managed as necessary to maintain the general state that was achieved after the first major clearance.

 

5.1.2     Restore open neutral grassland by clearance of areas of scrub encroachment.

Small marginal areas have been gained to grassland and maintained in that condition.

 

5. 1 3  Control ragwort as necessary.

Some ragwort will be allowed to grow in the meadow area to provide foodstuff for invertebrates.

 

5.1.4     Removal of individual trees and shrubs from within the open neutral grassland.

Some hawthorn and silver birch saplings have been removed from around the eastern bench area each year. There will be a need to continue with this policy.

The large Goat Willow tree on the northern edge of the meadow has been cut back to two main stems only, allowing much greater light into that part of the meadow.

 

5.2       To retain a proportion of the scrub as an integral component of the reserve.

5.2.1     Coppice areas of dense scrub and developing woodland. Some of the taller scrub will be reduced in height in order to provide better cover for lower nesting birds.

 

5.2.2     Monitor nest boxes for dormouse. Dormouse boxes have been changed once in the last five year plan and there are 13 boxes. Due to their use by birds in spring and by wood mice all the year round the boxes require regular maintenance.

 

5.2.3     We have been able to secure the services of a licensed officer locally who makes regular reports as a member of the management committee.

 

5.3          To maintain and enhance the structure and composition of the woodland habitat.

5.3.1     The oak woodland. The growing oak trees near the entrance, near the notice board and near the western seat together with the hazel tree near the latter all need to be carefully managed.

 

An open ride within the woodland was created in the first year of operation and has been maintained. There are now three open rides

 

 

5.3.2      Retain standing and fallen deadwood

Unchanged from 2003

 

5.3.3     Monitor and maintain tree safety throughout the woodland.

Undertaken regularly.

 

5.4          Wet woodland (sunken hollow area)

Saplings have been thinned selectively. Guidance unchanged.

Bridges have been installed over the wettest parts and across ditches that have been cleared in that last two years of the previous Plan.

 

5.5          To maintain and enhance the structure of the pond

5.5.1     Conduct a vegetation and invertebrate survey

Required and within the Plan.

 

5.5.2     Review the need for cutting back some scrub and marginal trees to reduce shading to the pond.

Guidance unchanged.

 

5.5.3     Remove silt and invasive vegetation from ditches and the pond.

Unchanged since 2008

 

5.6          To maintain and improve the structure of the privet hedge.

5.6.1    Interplanting undertaken. Guidance unchanged

 

5.6.2    The privet hedge grows vigorously and it has not been possible to layer as planned There has been need to trim it on both sides and top every year. The height is gradually being reduced.

 

 

6. To collect further ecological information about the site (all habitats)

 

6.1      Instigate biological surveys and establish a continuous programme of monitoring the reserve.

Unchanged generally but the monitoring of the neutral grassland has not yet been completed.

 

6.2      Monitor site condition and development

Photographic record keeping has been regularly maintained.

There are three aspects to the photographic record

Fixed point photographic survey on the quarter days;

Particular species records

Records of volunteer activity.

Guidance unchanged from 2008

 

6.3      Monitor and control visitor pressure

Unchanged, though supervised picnicing is tolerated.

 

6.4      Management Committee to collate existing scientific (and historical) data about the site.

Unchanged from 2003

 

 

7.  To promote recreational, educational and research use of the site so long as this does not conflict with the other objectives and obligations.

 

7.1     Provide educational and interpretive assistance on site.

The response from local schools to the invitation to use the reserve for educational

purposes has been disappointing. One school (St Edmund’s), has undertake major spring cleaning as part of their environment studies.

The UKC’s Durrell Institute in postgraduate studies and the Christchurch University’s School of Environmental Sciences have open invitations to direct students towards research in the Reserve.

 

In the previous period there have been presentations made on site about the Reserve and our objectives for it.

Guidance unchanged from 2003.

 

Information about the reserve is regularly published on the Parish Council’s website and in the local press.

 

7.2  Promote educational / interpretive use off-site

Unchanged from 2003

 

7.3  Continue to monitor the educational and interpretational use of the site and any impact this may have.

Unchanged from 2003.

 

7.4  Encourage recreational use of the site by providing and maintaining access features and aesthetic appeal of the site.

Access from footpath CB15 has been created and maintained.

The access gate into the Reserve and the notice board in the Reserve need annual maintenance.

 

7.5  Encourage the active involvement of volunteers and other groups in the practical management of the site.

Unchanged from 2003.

 

7.6  Encourage research and study on the site, particularly of the poorly recorded features.

Unchanged from 2003.

 

 

8.To meet all legal obligations, including those specified under management agreements with Canterbury City Council.

 

8.1     Ensure all operations and activities comply with health and safety regulations

 

8.2  Train all staff and volunteers as required.

Unchanged from 2003.

 

8.3  Take every reasonable care to remove risks to visitors (Occupiers Liability Act 1984).

Unchanged from 2003.

 

8.4  Observe all regulations relating to rights of way of access and waylees.

Unchanged from 2003

 

 

 

9. Nature Reserve furniture etc.

The entrance gate and the notice board need to be maintained on a regular basis.

 

 

 

 

The 2003 document is available for inspection through the Management Committee chairman.

 

 

HACKINGTON PARISH COUNCIL
 
TYLER HILL MEADOW

 

Notes on a meeting of the Management Committee held on Thursday 6th December 2012 at

10.00am at 5, Link Road, Tyler Hill

Present: Ray Evison, Irene Pellett, Ted Spice Penny Reilly and Lynne Evison

 

Trish Hulks and Nick Pygott sent their apologies.

 

RE informed the meeting that sadly the large mower bequeathed to us by Terry Dawkins for use in the Reserve had been stolen from Terry’s former store before it could be used.

 

Matters arising from a meeting of the Committee held on 16th December 2011

1.Some of the corrugated refugia had been replaced with black felt ones.

2.The Kentish Stour group had again, in early September, cut the grass in the meadow area and had supplied a large enthusiastic work party to do it.  The parish council had donated £50 to the group and had written afterwards thanking them for their splendid work.

 

It was agreed that we should look to promote the Reserve more, through notices, through articles in the Community magazine and on the parish website. Penny Whiting always gives mention to our activities in her column in the Kentish Gazette when asked, and perhaps we should offer her more information on a regular basis

 

Involvement of ‘non-local’ bodies in the Reserve.

St Edmund’s School had again volunteered to undertake maintenance work with large parties of students.

 

It was agreed to invite T H to continue to canvass with contacts she had the idea of surveys of small mammals and amphibians and report back to the next meeting.

 

Update of the management plan.

The management plan runs from 2008 until 2013. It was agreed that we would look to write a new five-year plan during the course of the next year . RE would prepare a draft 5 year plan and circulate it for comment before the next meeting. It was generally felt that the Reserve was now in good shape and needed only maintenance work rather than the major restructuring that had been necessary in its early years.

 

Work party dates in ’12 and ‘13

There had been several ad hoc work parties during the year during which the paths had been cleared and minor maintenance work undertaken. RE expects that there will be offers of two work parties by students of St Edmund’s School.

 

Review of Surveys undertaken in 2011.

Dormice :

T H hopes to have broken boxes repaired and perhaps some new ones made. Unfortunately no dormice had been observed during the year.

Amphibians :We have yet to identify an expert to advise us.

Birds: Martin Wilson had very kindly prepared a list of birds observed in the reserve. There were no unusual varieties spotted

Butterflies : Ted Spice’s recording of butterflies had shown a marked reduction this year in Meadow Blues. Other varieties especially Gatekeepers were well represented.

Flowers; Irene Pellett and Penny Reilly are continuing their surveying and have recorded over 30 species. The wire cages made by R E for the orchids to prevent rabbits attacking what is to them an attractive food source had been effective.

Grasses: Penny Reilly has commenced the identification of grasses growing in the Reserve

Trees: Lynne Evison has not monitored the trees in the reserve but had surveyed those hanging into the adjacent field and which would not need to be cut back. An estimate had been obtained for the cutting work and it is hope to have the work done before the next bird nesting season. No example of Ash die-back, which is recorded in the district had been observed in the Reserve.

Pond: LE had cleared the pond of duck-weed and debris in the autumn. Although no reptiles had been observed in it, it had remained a viable habitat throughout the year.

Small mammals: We have not yet secured the services of an expert on small mammals.

 

A separate record of the species observed and mentioned in these notes are appended.

 

Surveys in 2012.

The same surveys as in 2012 would be undertaken next year.

 

RE would write an article for the Community magazine in which he would seek volunteers with the expertise to survey fungi, and small mammals.

 

Photographic file.

I P presented her photographic record of the Reserve over the past 10 years. Of particular interest were the changing scenes of specific views taken on or about the Quarter days each year.

 

It was thought that if the photographic record could be downloaded and complied onto a suitable device it would make an interesting illustration to a talk to the Amenity Society on the Reserve.

 

 

 

 

Committee members:

 

Ray Evison                   ray.evison@talktalk.net

Trish Hulks                    trishahulks@gmail.com

Irene Pellett                   irenepellett@tiscali.co.uk

Penny Reilly                  psreilly985@btinternet.com

Ted Spice                     es15mfd@talktalk.net

Nick Pygott                   nickpygott@btinternet.com

Lynne Evison                lynneevison@hotmail.co.uk

 

HACKINGTON PARISH COUNCIL
 
TYLER HILL MEADOW

 

Notes on a meeting of the Management Committee held on Friday 13th December 2013 at

3.00pm at 5, Link Road, Tyler Hill

Present: Ray Evison, Irene Pellett, and Lynne Evison

 

Trish Hulks, Ted Spice, Penny Reilly, and Nick Pygott had sent their apologies.

 

 

Matters arising from a meeting of the Committee held on 6th December 2012

1.More of the corrugated refugia had been replaced with black felt ones.

2.The Kentish Stour group had again, in early September, cut the grass in the meadow area and had supplied a large enthusiastic work party to do it.  The parish council had donated £50 to the group and had written afterwards thanking them for their work.

 

We had looked to promote the reserve to both locals and visitors, mainly though the Village notes in the Kentish Gazette. Penny Whiting always includes mention of the reserve when we send her Notes and we would continue to use that means of promoting the reserve.

There was a discussion on how numbers of visitors could be recorded, including a Visitors’ book, but it was decided that that scheme would not be secure.

 

Involvement of ‘non-local’ bodies in the Reserve.

St Edmund’s School had again volunteered to undertake maintenance work with large parties of students and for which we were very grateful.

 

It was agreed to invite T H to continue to canvass with contacts she had the idea of surveys of small mammals and amphibians and report back to the next meeting.

 

Update of the management plan.

The management plan runs from 2008 until 2013. RE would prepare a simple draft 5 year plan and circulate it for comment early in the New Year. It was generally felt that the Reserve was now in good shape and needed only maintenance work rather than the major restructuring that had been necessary in its early years.

 

Work parties in 13

There had been several ad hoc work parties during the year during which the paths had been cleared and minor maintenance work undertaken. It is expected that St Edmunds will again offer the services of students during the summer term. We would invite them to clear paths and clear the ditches.

 

Review of Surveys undertaken in 2013.

Dormice :

T H has repaired broken boxes Unfortunately no dormice had been observed during the year although there had been use made of the boxes by wood mice and probably also by birds and bees.

Amphibians :We have yet to identify an expert to advise us.

Birds: Martin Wilson had been unable to undertake observations this year due to failing eyesight. However he had offered to undertake observation of butterflies in future.

Butterflies : Ted Spice’s recording of butterflies had been somewhat curtailed for various reasons but he had been pleased to record three Ringlets, Gatekeepers in good numbers., Meadow Browns and one rare Brown Argos.

I P had done five visits to find butterflies and had also seen Ringlets and in addition had seen a Speckled Wood. Numerous Southern Hawker dragonflies had been recorded in September.

No photographs were taken this year.

Flowers; Irene Pellett and Penny Reilly continued their surveying and have recorded over 30 species. The wire cages made by R E for protection of the orchids will need to be increased as several now ones have been seen.

Grasses: Penny Reilly has continued the identification of grasses growing in the Reserve

Trees: Lynne Evison has monitored the trees in the Reserve.

The estimate for the cutting back of branches overhanging the pasture to the east of the Reserve had been accepted and the work of cutting back done very well by Phil Burrows, a tree surgeon who lives in the village.

Pond: Lynne Evison had cleared the pond of duck-weed and debris in the autumn. Although no reptiles had been observed in it, it had remained a viable habitat throughout the year.

Small mammals: We have not yet secured the services of an expert on small mammals.

 

A record of the details of surveys undertaken is attached.

 

Surveys in 2014.

The same surveys as in 2013 would be undertaken next year.

 

In the New Year IP would write an article for Penny Whiting’s newspaper Notes in which she would mention our need for volunteers with the expertise to survey fungi, birds and small mammals.

 

Photographic file.

Irene Pellett presented her photographic record of the Reserve over the last 10 years. Of particular interest were comparisons now available of the extensive growth of trees whilst the Reserve has been managed.

 

 

 

Committee members:

 

Ray Evison                   rayevison@btinternet.com

Trish Hulks                    trishahulks@gmail.com

Irene Pellett                   Irene.pellett@btinternet.com

Penny Reilly                  psreilly985@btinternet.com

Ted Spice                     es15mfd@talktalk.net

Nick Pygott                   nickpygott@btinternet.com

Lynne Evison                lynneevison@hotmail.co.uk

 

Tyler Hill Meadow: surveys conducted 2013.

 

Flowers:

5 surveys conducted in 2013. Flowers recorded monthly (twice in May as the season was so slow in starting). Earliest in early May recorded 5 flowers blooming in the meadow and 13 on the wood [Total 18]. By the end of May there were 17 in the meadow and 18 in the wood [Total 35]. The best month was June with 30 in the meadow, 16 in the wood [Total 46]. July provided 21 in the meadow, 17 in the wood [Total 38]. August had 12 in the meadow, 5 in the wood [Total 18]. September 11 in the meadow; just 5 in the wood [Total 16]. Overall fewer flowers were recorded than in 2012.

 

Late spring but good weather when trees in blossom resulting in bumper harvest of acorns, hazel nuts etc.

 

Good year for: Dandelions, fruit, nuts, fungi. 5 orchids (2 new ones in different area).

1st record: Fox & Cubs.

 

 

Butterflies:

8th May:           3 orange Tip. Cool spring – not much Ladies Smock.

28th May:         1 orange tip; 2 whites; 1 common blue.

28th July:          1 common blue; several gatekeepers; 5 ringlets; 3 small skippers;

                        several large whites; 1 green-veined white; lots of meadow browns;

2 small copper.

25th August:     several common blue; 3+ gatekeeper; many meadow browns;

            3+ whites.

2nd September: 7+ speckled wood; many white; many meadow brown.

 

Orange Tip:                 May; (3).

Common Blue:            May-August; several (1-5).

Whites:                        late May-September; several 1-5+).

Green-veined White:  on 1 occasion in July; (1).

Meadow Brown:         July-September; many (5-10+)

Gatekeepers:               July-August; several (3+).

Ringlets:                      July; (5).

Small Skippers:            July (3).

Small Copper:             July (2).

Speckled Wood:          September; several (5+)

Brown Argus:              1 recorded by Ted Spice 26th August.

 

 

Dragonflies:

Southern Hawker: September: many. 1st time since 2006.

 

Slowworms: 2 (8/5/13); 1 (28/5/13); 1 (23/06/13); 3 (28/07/13).