Work Diary

Dial Hill

Due to limited blog space see our Monthly Diary for more recent updates on work on Dial Hill 

October, November and December 2020

The hilltop is tractor-mown. Volunteers mow restored, less accessible areas of grassland. Small areas of encroaching brambles are cut back in December.

July and August 2020

Pulling everlasting pea before it can set seed, and mowing and raking a section of rank vegetation on a north-facing slope to give smaller native species a chance to flourish.

May and June 2020

Invasive, non-native everlasting pea is pulled by hand before it can flower and set seed. Areas with nettles are mown to promote the development of good grassland.

November 2019

Restoring a neglected area of grassland by cutting back brambles and mowing

October 2019

Autumn scrub control by mowing and raking to maintain reclaimed grassland

Late summer mowing of a grassland slope reclaimed from scrub in the winter of 2015/16

July 2019

Controlling invasive, non-native everlasting pea in grassland and nettles under trees

June 2019

Controlling invasive everlasting pea by mowing & pulling, and strimming around seats

May 2019

Scrub control – grubbing out brambles to reclaim grassland & mowing under feature trees

January & February 2019

Access to the hill and a view to the north-west is improved by removing a few sycamores.

A large bramble patch is reduced in size to restore lost grassland while sycamore saplings are thinned out to enhance a wooded area and improve views over Clevedon Bay.

October 2018

By removing bramble grassland is reclaimed; trees thrive & are are shown to advantage.

The area nearest the cricket pitch is tidied by cutting back encroaching vegetation.

The south-facing grassland slope is mown in late summer to control the recolonisation of scrub species. The remaining mature trees thrive, enhancing the landscape and views.

August 2018

Although pretty, non-native everlasting pea is very invasive and must be removed from grassland. Brambles have produced fresh shoots and must be grubbed out by the roots.

July 2018

Despite a sustained heatwave, invasive, non-native & deep rooted everlasting pea thrives in grassland. It is pulled by hand as is toxic ragwort and non-native purple toadflax.

June 2018

Follow-up scrub control at the grassland margin while ox-eye daisies flourish nearby

May 2018

Follow-up control of ragwort & thistles, and non-native sumac & everlasting pea

April 2018

Young spear thistles and nettles are forked out to allow grassland to re-establish, and ash saplings are thinned out and cleared of bramble beneath.

November 2017

The species rich grassland plateau is extended by cutting back and digging out bramble and other scrub species. A view over Clevedon Bay reappears after tree thinning.

October 2017

The top of the hill is mown annually by tractor while the Woodcutters brush-cut and rake up other, less accessible areas to promote good grassland.

September 2017

After clearing sumac trees and scrubby areas grasses and wild flower species return.

August 2017

At the end of the main flowering period, vegetation is cut to encourage fresh growth of valuable grassland species. Rank weeds may first be pulled by hand to prevent seeding.

July 2017

Non-native, invasive everlasting sweetpea is mown again and raked off (3rd time this year) and ragwort, which is poisonous to horses andcattle, is pulled from the grassland.

Flowering species colonising a slope (cleared of scrub in the winter of 2015/16) are left to flourish while a neighbouring patch of annual sow thistle is cut to reduce competition. Elsewhere, fresh suckers of  sumac are brush-cut for the second time this year.

June 2017

Annual sow thistle is cut to reduce competition with good grassland species, everlasting sweet pea is strimmed again, and ragwort and some thistles are pulled from grassland.

May 2017

Phase 2 in controlling invasive sumac – cutting fresh suckers and grubbing out roots

Controlling nettles in grassland and improving access under trees

April 2017

Improving re-claimed grassland by controlling non-native everlasting sweet pea as well as invasive native species such as bramble, nettle, ragwort, thistles and goosegrass

January 2017

Brambles are cleared and the remaining sumach is grubbed out and burnt on site.

December 2016

Invasive, non-native Stag’s horn sumach has spread from neighbouring gardens, taking over more valuable grassland year by year, and needs to be removed. Sycamore trees in adjacent woodland are thinned to improve woodland quality and views over Clevedon Bay.

 November 2016

Brambles and scrub elder are cleared to extend the grassland area as far as the old lime kiln track that runs across the slope, while preserving a thicket habitat higher up.

October 2016

Follow-up scrub clearing continues, as well as clearing of new patches with the aim of restoring views over Clevedon Bay.

September 2016

The winter programme starts with more bramble clearing to increase the area of grassland.

July 2016

Grassland restoration continues – the lower slope is mown again. Certain invasive thistles are pulled or cut while the everlasting sweet pea population is controlled by scything.

June 2016

Nettles and bindweed as well as annuals including sow thistle and goosegrass quickly re-colonise the slope cleared of scrub last December, and are scythed and then raked off.

May 2016

Follow-up scrub control includes the brush-cutting and scything of spring regrowth. A programme to control invasive everlasting sweet pea in the grassland starts by the pulling of new shoots. This non-native species develops massive woody roots, difficult to remove.

April 2016

Nettles are the first to grow back after scrub clearing this slope last winter and need to be removed along with bramble stumps to allow good grassland species to re-establish.

February 2016

At the top of the hill an area of bramble and self-seeded ash is cleared in order to reclaim valuable grassland. Cut brash is ‘lost in the scrub’ nearby to create wildlife habitat piles.

January 2016

Bramble cutting continues, leaving a central thicket to provide a wildlife habitat. Remaining bramble stubble on the cleared area is trimmed, raked off and burnt.

December 2015

Cutting bramble at the bottom of the slope above the cricket club ground and burning brash on site

 November 2015

crown raised oak on Dial Hill viewed from the seats above

Removing the lower branches of a large, spreading oak tree significantly enhances the view from seats on the hilltop while improving the form of the tree and allowing sunlight to the ground beneath. Bramble clearance continues on the slope overlooking the cricket field.

October 2015 

Crown raising (removing lower branches from a tree)

Scrub clearing

scrub cutting around specimen trees on the south-east facing slopeWork starts on clearing scrub from the top of the south-east slope overlooking the cricket ground. Brambles and small, self-seeded saplings are cut as the first step in restoring the grassland. Mature native trees will be left for their wildlife and amenity value.


29 July 2015Ragwort pulling

ragwort pullingThe population of this native plant needs to be controlled as it is not only invasive,  competing with valuable, less vigorous wild species, but when eaten is very poisonous to large domestic animals particularly horses.

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