Bickerton Hill lies to the south of the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge at the southern tip of the Peckforton Hills and covers approximately 280 acres.
The area was gifted to the National Trust in the knowledge that the site is a significant example of rare and threatened lowland heath. The National Trust now manages this rare habitat; restoring it to a viable and thriving ecosystem. The habitat supports a wealth of otherwise rare plants and animals, including unusual beetles and moths, green hairstreak butterflies, wood larks, common lizards and adders.
There's also a chance that birds that once bred on the hill, such as nightjars and even ring ouzels, may one day return.
This week, local Year 13 students have been working with the National Trust, one of our Key Partners, in part fulfilment of the volunteering component relating to their Duke of Edinburgh, Gold Award.
With half term in full swing, therefore, the students, led by National Trust Ranger, Duncan Crawford, have been assisting in the land management plan for Bickerton Hill.
In this instance, that means managing the 'Silver Birch'. Areas of birch and other opportunist trees and scrub require regular management. This will allow heather and bilberry to recolonise the hill.
Duncan issued each of our volunteers with a 'Tree Popper', a robust little tool designed specifically to deal with unwanted vegetation; adept in removing roots and all!
Our volunteers set to work and cleared a substantial area and will be back later this week to continue the task.
The Sandstone Ridge Trust supports individual and collective learning and development opportunities.
As we go forward, it is vital that we attract the support and engagement of wider and representative age profiles from our communities.
During their half term break, the students have also been busy supporting the work of TWiG (Tattenhall Wildlife Group), another of our Partners, on areas of land which they manage.
We have featured the work of this particular group of students previously CLICK HERE.
Our thanks to our Partners and to the students; good luck to each of them in their upcoming Award and Examinations.
Click on each image to enlarge.