Events in 2014

2014 saw the most progress, since purchase of the wood in 2011, in evolving the wood away from its unmanaged state towards one with a greater proportion of native deciduous species and with better vertical structure of vegetation. Main areas of progress included:

  • Publication of a Management Plan
  • Planting of a mixed variety of native deciduous hedging, with the aim of improving low-level structure within the wood
  • Felling of a substantial number of small, crowded Scots pine to provide more light for existing native deciduous trees such as oak and sweet chestnut
  • Clearance of many areas of rhododendron, especially in sub-compartment Com 3
  • Completion of repairs to the footpath (FP218) running along the southern boundary of Sable Wood
  • Addition of signage at three entrances to the wood
  • Limited clearance of some gualtheria


3 December Visit to Sable Wood in the company of Bill and Fran Kearsley. This was the final visit in 2014.

2 December Continued clearance of the large area of rhododendron adjacent to the northern end of Marjorie's Path, helped by Martin Angel of the Bourne Conservation Group.

Clearance of gaultheria in subcompartment Com 2 (6 Nov 2014)

15, 20, 26 and 28 November Clearance of a large mass of rhododendron in subcompartment Com 1, adjacent to the northern end of Marjorie's Path. This has been by far the most challenging area of rhododendron to clear (a) because of the extent of the infected area, and (b) because of the large number of long, intertwining branches growing from multiple stumps.

10 November Installation of dormouse boxes and bug hotel made by the 5th Farnham (Bourne) Beaver Scout Group, in sub-compartment Com 1.

Repair of footpath FP218 in subcompartment Com 3 nears completion. (12 June 2014)

6 November Clearance of one rhododendron bush in sub-compartment Com 2. Noted with considerable disappointment the extensive spread of gaultheria in sub-compartments Com 1 and Com 2. Began removal of one patch of gaultheria in sub-compartment Com 2.

3 July - 5 November No work carried out in Sable Wood.

3 July Repair of footpath FP218 completed. Signs erected requesting walkers to keep to the restored footpath.

16 June Visit to Sable Wood by the 5th Farnham (Bourne) Beaver Scout Group.

19 May Further repair of footpath FP218. Resorted to earlier method of repair using large diameter logs to bridge the cavity caused by erosion. This requires much less material and gives a more stable and uniform finish to the walking surface.

14 and 15 May Further repair of footpath FP218 with Matt Davies and members of the Bourne Conservation Group. Juvenile greater spotted woodpecker seen in sub-compartment Com 3. Also saw a common lizard among the bilberry. Installed Adders Live Here sign (but it was later uprooted by someone and thrown into the undergrowth).

Adder (vipera berus) (12 Apr 2014)

14 April Visit to Sable Wood by Nicky Scott of Surrey CC, to inspect footpaths.

12 April Meet the owner morning. Female adder photographed among the heather.

2,4 and 8 April Cut down more rhododendron ponticum at the southern end of sub-compartment Com 3.

31 March Final planting (within the winter 2013-14 period) of native shrubs in sub-compartment Com 3. This planting is located near footpath 218.

Native hedging planted in subcompartment Com 3 (Mar 2014)

26 March Further planting of native shrubs in sub-compartment Com 3, extending the line of 21 March planting further into the wood.

21 March Mixed native deciduous shrubs planted in sub-compartment Com 3 with help from the Bourne Conservation Group. The planting starts near footpath 218A (Surrey CC designation) and extends south into the wood following approximately the line of a linear ditch-and-mound feature that is believed to mark the old boundary between the Tilford and Frensham boundaries.

17 March Further thinning of Scots pine and removal of more rhododendron and gaultheria in sub-compartment Com 3. Began to create a small rocky area in sub-compartment Com 1 using granite sets. The intention is to create an area that reptiles might find attractive to bask on (or in). Initial preparations for hedge planting on 21st March.

16 March Jamel Guenioui of Surrey Amphibian and Reptile Group (SARG) visited site to advise on reptile survey.

Jamel Genioui of the Surrey Amphibian and Reptile Group (16 Mar 2014)

11 March Attempted to burn rhododendron and gaultheria cuttings. This was only partially successful and I am unlikely to repeat the exercise in the near future.

7 March Dug up more gaultheria shallon in sub-compartment Com 2.

5 March Cut down more rhododendron ponticum in sub-compartment Com 2.

26 February SARG (Surrey Amphibian and Reptile Group) invited to conduct surveys in Sable Wood.

23 February Facebook page created for Sable Wood.

22 February Clearing of rhododendron and gaultheria in sub-compartment Com 2. Further incremental removal of small Scots pine in sub-compartment Com 3 to allow light to reach existing oak and beech, and woodland floor.

17 February Further clearing of rhododendron in sub-compartment Com 2.

13 February Visit to Sable Wood by James Browne, Countryside Access Officer for Surrey County Council.

16 January A long term Management Plan (v2) for Sable Wood is published.