Staff from Ella’s Kitchen lend a hand at Kingwood Common

On the morning of the 12th September, Gavin our Head of Conservation and Fiona, our Ranger were joined by a group from the UK’s number 1 baby food brand, Ella’s Kitchen. The staff at Ella’s Kitchen (all Senior Management) chose to work with the Chiltern Society as they wanted to do something beneficial for their local environment as their office is based nearby.

We were joined by 7 staff members for the day who helped us to open up some glades on this very valuable conservation site. One of the main issues we encounter at Kingwood Common is keeping on top of the bracken and bramble scrub which quite invasive and can grow very quickly, so we were grateful for assistance from the team at Ella’s Kitchen who helped us make some headway with this.

The team were split into two groups and given the option to learn to scythe and clear the bracken or help to clear some small samplings of encroaching holly with bowsaws and loppers. Fiona gave a brief introduction into the art of scything and showed the group how to cut the bracken effectively. After a few pointers here and there, the group were very effective and cleared a small glade in no time at all!

Gavin helped the other group with holly clearance and they managed to fell a significant holly tree which would have been large enough for a chainsaw to takedown! We then had our usual break and returned to the same tasks before pausing for lunch.

After lunch, the groups swapped around and they helped us to finish clearing away the holly and bramble in the glades. We were very impressed with the work that was achieved and very grateful for the help. This management of the glades is encouraging lots of interesting species, particularly heather and other wildflowers that enjoy the more acidic soil in this part of the Chilterns. It can also help to encourage a range of reptiles such as slow worms, common lizard and even adders!

The staff at Ella’s Kitchen had an enjoyable time and the following day thanked us for a great day out. One member of the team said, ‘There are some aching muscles today, but we all enjoyed a nice day in the fresh air and hope we helped with your efforts in the local environment.’