Events in 2017

Overall, the main progress and events in 2017 consisted of:

  • installation of steps at the top of footpath FP241. This was the culmination of many years of work by the Bourne Conservation Group and the Sable Wood owner to gain Surrey CC interest and approval for the work to go ahead.
  • felling of some of the larger trees in subcompartment Com 2. These trees are now mature and are casting shadows for much of the year over the area of heather.
  • continued thinning of small conifers and silver birch throughout the wood to allow more light to reach the woodland floor

A local pre-school group continued to use the wood for their nature laboratory.


New steps at the top of FP241

October/November New steps were installed at the heavily eroded junction of footpaths FP241 and FP237. The project was jointly organised by Surrrey County Council, the Bourne Conservation Group, Surrey Choices and the owners of Sable Wood. Most of the material for the project came from Sable Wood itself.

7 and 21 Sep Removed small remaining patch of rhododendron at the lower part of Com 2. Extended dead hedging along eastern boundary of Sable Wood to discourage re-invasion by rhododendron, and repaired section of dead hedging vandalised sometime during August.

August Felled small trees in Com 3 to accumulate material for footpath repair planned for October 2017 in collaboration with Surrey CC and the Bourne Conservation Group.

6 June Five refugia installed in Sable Wood by Jamel Genioui of the Surrey Amphibian and Reptile Group. The refugia are precisely geolocated and will be surveyed approximately monthly.

21, 23, 25 May Described management activities and progress to date to group participating in Farnham Walking Festival. Built dead hedging barrier on the south (top) side of footpath FP237 at the junction with central footpath FP241. The purpose is to counter soil erosion caused by an unauthorised path being opened up on the higher slope. It is also designed to prevent the danger of cyclists crossing the footpath junction at speed and unsighted.

Male adder

9 May Attended Reptile Ecology and Survey course run by Surrey Wildlife Trust. Led to agreement by SARG to install refugia in Sable Wood.

16 and 23 May Male adder found among heather in Com 1

February and March Final removal of all significant patches of rhododendron and gaultheria in sub-compartment Com 2. Further construction of dead hedging along southern boundary (i.e. boundary with Forestry Commission land).

21 March Two slow worm found basking among heather. Treecreeper observed on pines in sub-compartment Com 2.

January Further clearance of old rhododendron roots in north-east corner of sub-compartment Com 2, and further construction of dead hedging along eastern boundary of Sable Wood.