As usual, well over twenty volunteers turned up last Thursday for a bit of conversation. They also pressed on with the endless task of painting the park fence. One member wondered why it was necessary when the metal fence shows no sign of rusting – perhaps it is purely for decoration!
A small group was despatched to Monument Drive to carry out conservation on the established trees, by spreading a mulch of wood chippings. Many public parks and gardens like Kew suffer with soil compaction around established trees, because of so many visitors – it inhibits the growth of the trees. At Ashridge it is car parking which causes the problem. A quick remedy is to cover the root plate with a mulch to feed the mycorrhizae fungii in the soil. This also prevents growth of the grass sward and acts as a cushion preventing later re- compaction of the soil, as well as protecting the soil from erosion and retaining moisture to encourage root growth. This should work well with our pedunculate oaks, Quercus Pedunculata.