HELP SAVE A POPULAR LOCAL WOOD (HOPPER’S WOOD EAST) FROM INFESTATION, SUNDAY 10th JULY, 10am till midday.
JOIN local volunteers working to support an initiative from the Wear Rivers Trust to remove invasive alien plants from the catchment area of the Wear. No special skills are required.
We are working to fight back a very damaging infestation of Himalayan balsam in part of a local wood, the area of where Hopper’s Wood extends EAST of the railway line, off the popular footpath that leads south over the railway from the very southern edge of Newton Hall to near Crook Hall. More directions are given below.
Not sure what this plant is? The Wear Rivers Trust has a simple guide. https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/e7d103c0-5d9a-4c98-88cc-9e194356fb78/downloads/Himalayan%20Balsam%20Pulling%20Guide.pdf?ver=1655303763116
It is thankfully easy just to pull up, being extremely shallow rooted, and now mostly tall enough to reach with little or no bending over. Just pull it up from the stem, then pile up the uprooted plants to dry out if you can.
If interested, just join the WRT on the morning of Sunday 10 July at 10.am. Gloves are advised, because of the occasional nettles.
DIRECTIONS. If you are coming from the direction of the City a group will gather at 10 am on 10th July where the footpath to Newton Hall starts, just outside Blagdon Depot (directions: turn left off Frankland Lane about 100 metres after Crook Hall — if you get to the sewage works turn back, you’ve just gone past it!). This the southern end of the public footpath to Newton Hall, passing through the wood (if you have access to an online map the coordinates are 54.782699,-1.572075, or just put those into Google).
Someone will be there to meet you and we’ll move on towards the wood after 5-10 minutes.
If you are coming from Newton Hall or the north, another group will meet at 10 am on 10th July at the more southerly of the two railway bridges on the eastern edge of the estate. This is the northern end of the public footpath from Newton Hall to the City, just off Lindisfarne Road. (if you have access to an online map the coordinates are 54.791319,-1.570786 , or just put that into Google).
Again, someone will be there to meet you and we’ll move on into the wood after 5- 10 minutes.
The balsam is now so widespread we may well not defeat it this year. The priority must be to stop it spreading further before it can cast seed, so people are invited to focus on edge places where the weed is still spreading outwards into the wood, on outliers or where is not yet so dense.
The landowner has been contacted and has given permission. People will be required to confirm that they are acting as volunteers for the Wear Rivers Trust. Small forms can be signed on the day, or in advance online if you prefer: https://wear-rivers-trust.org.uk/get-involved
We know of no particular hazard in these popular woods. There should be space to park near both starting points.
Please note: anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.