I spent this Sunday afternoon with the Lesnes Abbey Conservation Volunteers working in the more open heathland area at the top of the hill.
I was primarily weeding 'scrapes' where vegetation, leaf-litter, peaty bracken remains and some topsoil have been removed to provide a seedbed for Heather (Calluna vulgaris), so that the area of heathland can be extended further into areas where tree thinning has taken place. The main 'invaders' were bramble shoots, Rowan seedlings and bracken.
Heather-dominated heath within Lesnes Abbey Woods, surrounded mainly by Sessile Oak
Whilst there are several areas of remnant heathland vegetation around the Borough, this is the one with the finest show of Heather.
Flowered heather shoots carrying seed are deposited in the scrapes, with varying degrees of success in terms of seedling development.
Other volunteers were pulling Bracken and tree seedlings out of the more established areas of Heather.
To get involved in this and other projects in the woods check out
for more details and a programme of events. The actual meeting point tends to be on the west side of the information centre (round the back) by a fenced compound where the tool shed is.