Holly Bush Renovation, Clophill
Written by: Clophill Parish Council
The area is called Holly Bush. It is an open landscape that has been poorly managed. The grass was mown by the local farmer but the area is otherwise unused. The species composition of the grass has limited diversity and consists predominantly of coarse species. It is proposed to fence Holly Bush and introduce conservation grazing using sheep to improve management and encourage a more diverse grassland sward.
Holly Bush has a small County Wildlife Site (CWS) off to the side, which is designated for its acid grassland composition. The CWS will be fenced separately from Holly Bush but with a small gate between the two which will enable controlled grazing of the CWS, sheep can be excluded to stop overgrazing. The Greensand Trust have helped to manage coarse vegetation on the CWS and have drastically reduced this issue. It is our hope that grazing will help to keep coarse vegetation under control. Allowing sheep to graze between the two areas should also encourage the transfer of seed.
Access to the site is limited to a poorly managed bridleway, which needs improvement.
The overall plan is to improve management of the open space, provide robust access to the site and allow stock management. The impact will improve the area of Acid Grassland (CWS). The Parish Council hope to derive a small income from this to fund continued management of the area. Changes in the footpath proposed will also bring a track back in use that has been ignored.
The proposed fencing will limit human access to the field but improve the quality of the perimeter of the site for walking. It will also bring into play the improved footpaths. It is hoped that we can introduce boards for walkers explaining the walk, the CWS and give them guidance on the importance of the Greensand Ridge.
We now have a space that is being better managed and access is improved. Regularly accessed by walkers and pony trekkers.
Benefits to People
The works have helped improve peoples’ access, whlst also helping to limit damage done in the area of Special Scientific Interest.
Benefits to Heritage & Landscape
The land is now being properly managed and has improved.
The area is in better condition and is better connected with improved accessibility.
Challenges & Lessons Learnt
It was sometimes challenging to get access and materials to the site.
One lesson was to understand the construction process a little better.