Vic Young writes:
After a very interesting talk from the Friends of Dothill Local Nature Reserve (FDNLR) last June, some Rotarians, spouses, partners and Inner Wheel members gathered at Admaston House on 11th October to be shown around the Reserve and its 50 Tree Trail (set up as part of the Telford Town’s 50th celebrations).
We were met @ 10am by Mike Hughes (FDNLR fauna/flora expert) and Keith Jones (FDNLR tree expert) who, after checking our footwear & outer wear, declared us “fit to go” as very few of the paths used were “made up” and the weather forecast was mixed. Fortunately, it remained mostly dry until some drizzle about 11.30am.
The FDLNR guys provided a hugely interesting insight into the origins of both the trees and the Reserve and their plans to improve the habitat for more fauna, including the structured flooding of some wetlands and some clearance of over wooded areas, especially where some shrubs & trees were being starved of nutrients & light by neighbouring trees too close. They also answered many questions from our inquisitive group. In fact, the entire walk was meant to be completed within 2.5 hrs, to arrive @ The Pheasant, Admaston for a 12.30 lunch but, at Tree 25, we realised we were about an hour late so took a vote to curtail rather than be late for lunch. Some had other lunch appointments whilst President Peter & Rotarian Cyril Conley would be waiting for us at The Pheasant.
So, we shortcut past Dothill Primary School and picked up at Tree 36, walking down past Tee Lake and some work on wetlands, missing out a few more trees before walking out of the Reserve at the back of Admaston Spa and along the Shawbirch Road to The Pheasant, where many took liquids & lunch. In total, I believe we missed out 14 or 15 of the 50 tree species but the FDNLR guys are happy to take us again, either to take in just the areas we missed or to re-run the whole thing.
I found the whole thing really interesting and heartily recommend it. In fact, I was so enthused, I forgot to take more photos so there are just 3 (around Tree 3, the biggest Oak on the reservation) I will ask Dick Osborne if he would kindly sound out whether to re-run the whole thing or just organise a “completion run”. Please let us know what YOU think.