With spring already on the horizon it is worth noting how incredibly fine and dry the winter has been. A real taste of winter seemed to be confined to a period of just three weeks with very low temperatures and some snow while a massive Siberian high pressure system was dominant. Otherwise dry conditions and temperatures above the seasonal average have prevailed. This has provided a very pleasant outdoor working environment. Of course, both March and April can have a nasty sting to them but there is no doubt that there will be plenty of spring weather to enjoy as well.
Work to trees is generally confined to the winter months when they are dormant. All over the riverside necessary tree surgery is carried out to ensure proper management of this special environment. No tree is cut unnecessarily but it is unrealistic to expect all trees to be left alone even when they become dangerous or too grow too close to their neighbours to thrive.
Tree management needs to be considered for the long-term and to this end three hybrid poplars will be pollarded behind the Old Bathing Place. Left to their own devices these would grow into massive specimens with their roots in very soft ground. As maturing trees in thirty years time they would eventually pose a threat to the houses at Beaconsfield Close and be a financially unattractive management problem for the Sudbury Common Lands Charity. As pollards the trees will sprout regrowth within a couple of months and this regrowth can be managed on a rotational basis for many years to come. Babergh District Council has generously offered a 50% grant towards this essential work.
Every year our friends from Acton and Waldingfield cub/scouts come for some hands-on conservation work. They have been coming for so many years that they have more or less adopted the plantations adjacent to Brundon Lane. Bird boxes are examined and cleaned out or if in disrepair, taken down. Much enjoyable bow-saw and lopping work takes place to make sure that these areas are effectively managed. Young saplings and hedgerows may also be planted. This year the team planted a short hedgerow along the mill race footpath adjacent to the floodgates pool. Contrary to the common complaints when the chainsaw comes out, careful tree management rather than simply cutting down all the trees is actually what the charity does its best to achieve.