Friends of Montefiore Community Woodland
2023 Annual Report from the Committee
The Friends of Montefiore Woodland Group was formed in 2011 which means we
have now been managing this woodland site for 12 years. The area is increasingly
being recognised and valued as a tranquil green space to be enjoyed by the
community and various species of wildlife. It is a little haven for birds, squirrels,
foxes, bats and hedgehogs.
Considerable effort has been put into improving the wildflower meadow. Thank
you to Dave Welch for cutting the grass at the end of the summer and organising
the resultant hay gathering. The problem has always been that the grasses tend to
take over and smother other plants. We have tried yellow rattle seeds and plants
with some degree of success. Last year we planted many native wildflower plants
into the meadow but with little success due to the summer drought.
Last month we planted 80 more native plants having first removed grasses from
their immediate surroundings. This has been followed by several weeks of rain so
hopefully they will be off to a better start and we can look forward to improved
results this summer. Thank you to Sue Smith for sourcing and ordering the plants.
The increased variety of plants will also bring a greater variety of butterflies and
pollinating insects. Thank you to Peter Atherall for advising and keeping a record of
all plant species in the Woodland.
Sue Smith continues with the weekly butterfly transect from April to September
and the Friends group also participated in the national Butterfly count recording 9
different butterfly species on the day.
We also participated in the Big Garden Bird count, recording 11 different bird
species on that day. Thanks to Pat for feeding the birds through the winter.
Full details of plants, birds and butterflies recorded in the Woodland can be seen
on our website www.montefiorewoodland.org.uk/ Well worth a look, you will be
Monthly Woodland working sessions continue to be friendly and enjoyable
occasions. Members enjoy sharing knowledge and information as well as knowing
that their efforts really do make a difference.
Some sessions have been better attended than others and we are always keen to
recruit more volunteers to deal with the many tasks involved in woodland
management. We need to keep the ivy under control to prevent it from smothering
the trees and damaging the surrounding walls. The invasive Alexander plant is a
big problem as it tends to dominate the woodland preventing a wider variety of
flora establishing. We do cut back as much as possible as well as digging out the
very deep tap roots. Then there are the brambles which grow at a tremendous
rate. We are pleased to keep some for the benefit of wildlife but need to keep
the pathways clear. Never ending tasks.
We have acquired several loads of wood chippings over the year which are spread
along the footpaths to make them more user friendly and to deter people from
trampling other areas.
Under the guidance of Dave our tree specialist some trees which were dangerous or
diseased have been removed, notably the Turkey Oak which was leaning
dangerously on the perimeter flint wall.
Bat walks on summer evenings were continued. After each walk a request is made
for voluntary donations, which are forwarded to the Kent Bat Group in support of
Sue and Peter Smith continue to do an excellent job in keeping the website up to
date and looking good. We also have a face book presence which is useful for
announcing current events and sharing information on wildlife issues.
We are very grateful for the donations received from supporters this year including
regular payments from our treasurer Jeffery Frampton.
We are most grateful for the support we have received this year from Ramsgate
Town Council. The Mayor Raushan Ara organised a litter pick by local school
children which was very effective and enjoyed by all.
Councillor Tony Ovenden made a generous donation to the funds which allowed us
to purchase more tools, woodland plants and a native hornbeam tree. This was
planted to replace the Turkey oak (but in a different location) and to mark this
year’s coronation. Tony is now a regular on our work parties and has joined the
We are very excited to be getting a storage unit where we can safely keep our
tools. This will make a big difference to our work parties as all necessary
equipment will be readily available to volunteers at all times.
We are pleased to continue our links with the Montefiore Heritage Group.
We also thank the Racing Greyhound for the use of this room for our AGM meetings.
Most of all we must thank our committee members and the volunteers who give
their time and effort to maintaining and improving the Montefiore Woodland.
Friends of Montefiore Woodland