Castle Point Wildlife Group

Events and activities

This page details our planned events and group work parties and also features some information on past events and activities. We welcome any one who wants to help at any of our work parties.
Work Party and Event List.
All work parties start at 10am. For Westwood meet outside the compound down from Rayleigh Road entrance. For NBHW meet in car park top of Manor Road by Cricket Club.

Monday 29th October - Westwood

Dons area: Finish cutting down scrub and remove growth including new sapling growth. Cut and open up pathways.

Sunday 4th November - Westwood

Heath Project: Clear scrub and fern growth.

Monday 12th November - Westwood

Bonfire burn scrub cut and removed from Dons area

Sunday 18th November - Westwood

Cut back scrub growth and open up the scalloped areas off main track down from Rayleigh Road gate

Monday 26th November - Westwood

Hedge Lane Pond: Cut back scrub growth around pond and also glade area. Tidy up and burn

Sunday 2nd December - Westwood

Westboune Close pond: Remove 4 large willows that are leaning and blocking light

Monday 10th December - Westwood

Path from Westbourne Close to bund: Remove approx 6 trees that are leaning / blocking light

Sunday 16th December - Westwood

2017 coppice area: Finish off removal of around 8 - 12 trees at north part of area. Cut back scrub and new coppice growth

Sunday 6th January - Westwood

2017 coppice area: Finish off removal of around 8 - 12 trees at north part of area. Cut back scrub and new coppice growth

Monday 14th January - Westwood

Bonfire in 2017 coppice area to burn scrub / brush

Sunday 20th January - Westwood

Create scallop (1) opening off Jims area:

Remove about 10 - 12 trees to create a scallop off main path to allow light to penetrate to improve area to become a ride for butterflies

Monday 28th January - Westwood

Bonfire to burn brush from above session

Sunday 3rd February - Westwood

Create scallop (2) opening off Jims area: Remove about 10 - 12 trees to create a scallop off main path to allow light to penetrate to improve area to become a ride for butterflies

Monday 11th February - Westwood

Bonfire to burn scrub / brush from above

Sunday 17th February - Westwood

Create Glade north of felled area by Westbourne Close pond: Remove 6 - 8 trees to open up glade that has been formed where large hornbeam was removed after storm. Cut back new growth in felled area including scrub growth

Monday 25th February - Westwood

Bonfire to burn brush / scrub from above

Sunday 3rd March - North Benfleet Hall Wood

General spring maintenance as required

Monday 11th March - Westwood

Bonfire by Deanes fence near where larches came down to clear up debris. Cut new bridlepath

Historic Events:
On a sunny Saturday (30th May 2015) we again set up our stand at the ever popular RSPB Wildlife Event at Canvey Island West Marsh Reserve. Thanks go to everyone who visited and supported us and special thanks to David, Jill and Diane who ran the stand for us.
1 2
In October 2014 we carried out further horse logging this time with a pair of Suffolk Punches owned by Matt and Claudia from Hawthorn Heavy Horses. It was a wonderful day and some pictures of the day are shown below: 
 P1020979     P1020980
On Sunday 20th October 2013, we had a Suffolk Punch heavy horse from Hawthorn Heavy Horses carrying out some horse logging in Westwood. This is a tradional way of moving felled timber that is friendly to the environment and prevents ground damage by tractors. This was a sight not seen for over 100 years in the wood and a great sight to be seen. We will repeat the event again and want to thank everyone who came along to see the horse in action plus thanks to Hawthorn Heavy Horses from Hylands House in Chelmsford for coming along with Roy the star of the show!!
Horse logging 1  Horse Logging 3  Horse Logging 4
Horse Logging 5 
On 10th October 2013 we undertook a woodland walk for around 30 members of the 4th Thundersley Beaver Scout Group. During the visit we planted a special Elm Tree sapling donated to us by the Conservation Foundation's Great British Elm Experiment. This is a project to reintroduce the British Elm following the devastating Dutch Elm Disease. We will be monitoring the progress of the sapling and reporting it back to the Conservation Foundation over coming years
4th Thundersley Beavers
Our stand at Castle Point Show 2013 with Don our butterfly expert in attendance.
Recieving our formal certficate of Partnership from Chair of Canvey Island Town Council on 8th July 2013.
 Canvey Partnership Ceremony
Not so much one of our activities but we had a request from someone asking if they could come in to the woods with an elevating platform to shoot some video shots up above the tree canopy. We got agreement from the Council and on Saturday 30th July 2011 the team duly arrived!
Having set up they did their shots then allowed us to go up to take some pictures and see the woods from a different angle! Having no head for heights I declined but my wife jumped at the chance and was away. So below are some shots of the wood from above!
Cherry Picker      018   029  005 006
On 18th July 2010 we once again attended the annual Castle Point Show held at Waterside Farm on Canvey. Our aim was to increse awareness of the group within Castle Point and to provide advice on wildlife and talk about our work in the woods of the area. It was a great day with many people coming to see the stand and displays. Some pictures of the day are shown below. 
Castle Point Show 2010       Castle Point Show 2010-2         Castle Point Show 2010-3
Castle Point Show 2010-4   Castle Point Show 2010-5   Castle Point Show 2010-6 CP Show
cps              cps1                cps3             cps4
On Saturday 22nd May 2010, we (Neal Warren, Pam Warren and David Whitewood) attended the joint RSPB / Canvey Council wildlife event at the new RSPB reserve on Canvey Island to promote our work.
The event was a great day and was supported by Mike Dilger (of BBC One Show and Springwatch fame).
RSPB 1       rspb 2         rspb3 
We are often supported by groups from the Community to complete some bigger projects within the woods. In April 2010, a group of employees from Fords joined us to undertake a project to improve one of the entrances to West Wood at Hedge Lane. The group built a new bridge across the stream and also replaced the entrance gate and fence as well as clearing the area of rubbish. We would like to say a big thank you to those who came along from Fords and worked with us. Some pictures are shown below of the before and after, as well as some of the 'workers' involved.
  Entrance Hedge Lane Before  Entrance after  Stream before bridge    Stream after new bridge
  Fords Group Hedge Lane Gate                    Fords Ditch Digging                        Fords Bridge Laying 
One of our aims is to see the woods support local activities as well as being a local amenity. We were recently approached by a local Company who were looking for some oak planks to build a 3 metre long dining table for a local customer. We had 2 oaks that were felled near the edge of West Wood last year, which when they saw them were ideal.
To save a lot of transport and cost a local contractor was found who operates a mobile sawmill, and he came in to the woods to saw the trees up for planks to allow the table to be built. In addition to planks some of the wood was cut in to beams for use in fireplace building as well as lengths to be used for furniture making (chairs etc).
Pictures were taken of the operation and are shown below, we hope to be able to add more pictures showing the table as it gets built.
Truly a local project using local wood for quality furniture as it would have been done in the past.
In addition we were able to get some lengths of oak cut to form seats which we will soon install within both West Wood and also in North Benfleet Hall Wood.   
  Planking 1  Planking 2      Planking 3  
Below you can see some of the benches made from some of the planks and now in place in West Wood.
  Bench  Oneoftwolovelyhandmadebenches-alsodamagedbyvandals

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