Ranger’s notes for autumn on Brentmoor Heath and Folly Bog

Two things to report from my walk in our local heathland this week.

The Surrey Wildlife Trust Ranger for Brentmoor Heath and Folly Bog has provided notes on autumn in the heathland, in which it states that Belted Galloway Cattle have returned to munch invasive plants.

Below are my photos of the Rangers’s notes, posted on the kissing gates into the heathland, and the cattle munching purple moor grass. [Click on photos to expand]

Surrey Wildlife Trust ranger spring update for Brentmoor Heath and Folly Bog

The entrances to the heathland off Red Road, and into Brentmoor Heath display a Spring update notice from Ben Habgood, the Surrey Wildlife Trust ranger for Brentmoor Heath and Folly Bog. He can be contacted at info@surreywt.org.uk

In Ben’s Spring update notice he mentions to be on the lookout for orchids, which he says can be seen from mid-May onwards. I walked on the track alongside Folly Bog yesterday and found no evidence of their arrival. But then I’m no botanist. I’ll make a trip down to Folly Bog and see I can spot signs of the Early Marsh Orchid.

I think nature is a bit late this year. Our large camellia has only recently ended its flowering. In the past it’s finished its flowering in January.  [Click on the image to expand].

Brentmoor Heath and Folly Bog Ranger posts his Spring notes

The Surrey Wildlife Trust Ranger for Brentmoor Heath and Folly Bog – Ben Habgood [info@SurreyWT.org.uk] – has posted his Ranger’s notes for Spring 2017 on the kissing gates leading into Brentmoor Heath and Folly Bog. Here they are below [click on image to enlarge],

Scrunching and munching on a grand scale

When Speedicus Triplicatum reported, in a comment, about the scale of scrub clearance in our local heathland, I had to see for myself what he describes as the result of scrunchy-munchy machines.

Wrapping up warm – I’d be embarrassed to tell you how many layers of clothing, so I’m not going to – I ventured out for a longish expedition to see the extent of the scrub clearance.

Speedicus is correct. The work is extensive. It pleasingly restores the views over heathland from the various heathland paths. No more walking through corridors of gorse and saplings. Click on images to enlarge.

Accepting the challenge to discover more about the bowl barrows in Brentmoor Heath

My admiration is boundless to the vast, nay, I’d say, encyclopedic knowledge of the readers and commenters to this blog. Yet again Speeedicus triplicatum leads when he says in comment to THIS blog article,

I’ve never found much online about the 4 Barrows next to the Red Road …..

He continues to add this wonderful piece of history about the bowl barrow site,

… The [Surrey Wildlife Trust information board] by the barrows always makes me smile when it waxes lyrical about the ‘tool marks’ on a nearby Sarsen allegedly made by Bronze age masons … actually, the Stone was trundled down from the A322 Roundabout construction in the 1970s by a JCB with sharp teeth in its Bucket !

Couldn’t resist Speedicus’s implied challenge. After some time googling, here’s what I’ve discovered about the burial mounds,

  • The Chobham website has some information on burial mounds in our local area
  • The Makers of the Heath by Iain Wakeford has a cracking photo, though focus is on Woking, useful none the less
  • Surrey barrows 1934-1986: a reappraisal by Leslie Grinsell, who surveyed the barrows in 1932, is the authoritative source, though a somewhat dry academic description. [Note: Click on Accept to download the PDF file]. Oh, and his report says there are 12 such barrows in Surrey Heath. But where?  More work for me to do methinks.

Below are photos of [click to expand], of the barrows, the information board, the sarsen stone, an aerial photo from the 1930’s [my, how things have changed], and a contour survey 1930’s survey,

Following-up on a reader’s report on scrub clearance

A reader of this blog – one named Speedicus Triplicatum – commented on the report of scrub clearance adjacent to Folly Bog in Lightwater, saying,

……… over the last 2 weeks with the munching-scruncher Tractor attachment – it seems capable of flattening and reducing all but mature trees !

Witness the area opposite the Tumuli, and the total Desolation of Smaug on the southern slopes of Sandpit Hill !

Loved the thought of a scrunchy-munchy machine, and its ‘Desolation of Smaug’ work on Brentmoor Heath. So, yesterday, after the fog had lifted, I walked to the areas mentioned by Speedicus. Yes, there’s been a lot of scrub clearance, especially a large area on the slopes of Sandpit Hill.

Here’s the photo I took of the scrub clearance adjacent to the tumuli – quite atmospheric I thought. I’d love to see a touch more care and attention given to the four 3000-4000 year old bronze-age bowl barrows [tumuli]. Maybe I should volunteer as part of a working party. I’ll do some research on the barrows and will report back.


Brentmoor Heath & Folly Bog Ranger posts his winter notes

At the entrances to Brentmoor Heath and Folly Bog, Surrey Wildlife Trust Ranger, Ben Habgood has posted his winter notes. [Click on image to expand].

I’m pleased to see there’ll be scrub clearance next year. Would like to know where in the Folly Bog work is to be done. The last major clearance was in 2010. Also, I’m somewhat surprised that further maintenance work is needed on the Esso pipeline in Folly Bog, after all the work earlier this year.

I’ll be following up on both of these items, and will report back here. Meanwhile, here’s Ben Habgood’s notes