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SITE 201 HILL CLOSE AND BILL'S WOOD

OS REF:SK588111

Date: 6th March 2004

I went to the site to look at the wood being planted in memory of Anthony's Father, Bill. It will cover a very good area and extends beyond the parish boundary into Thurcaston Parish. The current and ancient boundary will therefore become part of the wood. Photographs taken of the planting, which is still in progress. A return visit will be made to record the trees and hedgerow, which form the boundary as part of our Rothley Ancient Parish Surveys (RAPS)

31st March 2004

Brian Verity, Terry Sheppard, Janice Verity and myself were working on the RAPS project, recording the hedgerow species and trees. The boundary trees are mainly Ash and are in a very poor state with loss of branches and rotten trunks. This makes them good for wildlife but a very fragile habitat, as they will degenerate at a fast rate. The hedgerow species are detailed in the RAPS survey Stints 17, 18 and 19. It is lovely to see so much Crab Apple in the hedgerow.

7th April 2004

At the end of the hedgerow at its boundary with Site 202 Abbethaws there is a Pond 25, Hill Close Pond. This does not have any maintenance and is overshadowed by vegetation.

The trees on the other boundaries have still to be recorded.

Site 201 Trees planted on 4th/5th March 2004 which will be known as Bill's Wood. 6th March 2004

Site 201 Trees planted on 4th/5th March 2004 to be known as Bill's Wood. 6th March 2004

Site 201 Trees planted 4th/5th March to be known as Bill's Wood. 6th March 2004

Site 201 is over the hedgerow on the right. This shows tree planting on the 4th/5th March 2004 extending into Thurcaston Parish. 6th March 2004

Site 201 over the hedgerow to the left. This shows tree planting in Thurcaston Parish on the 4th/5th March 2004. Looking to A6. 6th March 2004

Site 201 over the hedgerow to the right. Tree planting in Thurcaston Parish 4th/5th March 2004. Looking to Thurcaston. 6th March 2004

Site 201 over the hedgerow to the left. Trees planted 4th/5th March 2004. The hedgerow is part of the Ancient Parish Boundary as well as the present parish boundary. 6th March 2004

Bill's Wood straddles the Rothley Ancient Parish Boundary into Thurcaston as shown above. Trees planted 4th/5th March 2004. Looking to Thurcaston. 6th March 2004

Site 201 over the Ancient Parish Boundary hedgerow on the right.Trees planted 4th/5th March 2004. looking to Thurcaston. March 2004

Site 201 over the hedgerow to the right. Looking to Thurcaston over newly planted Bill's Wood. March 2004

Site 201 Hill Close with newly planted Bill's Wood. Looking to Thurcaston. March 2004

Site 201 Hill Close with newly planted Bill's Wood. Looking to Bridle Road Spinney. March 2004

Site 201 Hill Close just over the hedgerow boundary with Thurcaston Parish. Looking to Thurcaston. March 2004

Site 201 over the hedgerow to the left. Newly planted Bill's Wood in Thurcaston Parish. March 2004

Site 201 Hill Close over the hedgerow boundary to the left. Newly planted Bill's Wood in Thurcaston Parish. March 2004

Site 201 Hill Close with newly planted Bill's Wood. Looking to Site 202 Abbethaws. March 2004

Site 201 Hill Close with newly planted Bill's Wood. Looking to Rothley Park Golf Course. March 2004

Site 201 over the Rothley Ancient Parish Boundary in the distance. Looking from Thurcaston Parish over newly planted Bill's Wood. March 2004

Site 201 Hill Close and newly planted Bill's Wood to Barn Close with its ruined barn. April 2004

Site 201 Hill Close with Bill's Wood. June 2006

Site 201 Hill Close with Bill's Wood looking to Site 206 Barn Close. June 2006

Site 201 Hill Close and Bill's Wood looking to Site 206 Barn Close. June 2006

Site 201 Hill Close and Bill's Wood. Thurcaston Parish over the hedgerow on the right. June 2006

Site 201 Bill's Wood. August 2007

Site 201 Hill Close with Bill's Wood. August 2007

Site 201 Bill's Wood. August 2007

Site 201 Bill's Wood. August 2007

Site 201 Bill's Wood. Looking to Thurcaston. August 2007

Site 201 Bill's Wood. Trees now just over three years old. August 2007

Site 201 over the hedgerow to the right. Bill's Wood on the Thurcaston side. July 2008

Site 201 Bill's Wood. July 2008

Site 201 Bill's Wood. July 2008

Site 201 Hill Close with Bill's Wood now just over 6 years old. July 2010

Site 201 Hill Close with Bill's Wood to the left. July 2010

Site 201 over Bill's Wood and the hedgerow to the right from Thurcaston Parish. Old John on the skyline. July 2010

Site 201 Ancient Oak Tree 243 on the right with a girth of 3.4m at SK57651123. March 2004

Site 201 Ancient Boundary Ash Tree 244 with a girth of 2.8m at SK57841105. March 2004

Site 201 Ancient Boundary Ash Tree 244 looking fragile at the base of the trunk. March 2004

Site 201 Ancient Boundary Trees 245-248. March 2004

Site 201 Ancient Boundary Ash Tree 246 with a girth of 3.0m at SK57921102. March 2004

Site 201 Pond 25 Hill Close Pond at SK58981101. March 2004

Site 201 Pond 25 Hill Close Pond at SK58981101. April 2004

ROTHLEY ANCIENT PARISH SURVEY (RAPS)

STINT 17

Date: 31st March 2004

Observers: Brian Verity, Terry Sheppard, Janice Verity, Marion Vincent.

Location: Site accessed from the Bridle Road

OS Ref:SK57651115-57761109

Map Title: Site 201 Hill Close (and Bill's Wood).

Owners: Mr Anthony Cooper, Southfield Farm, Rothley.

Although it started off as a misty day the sun did shine and it was a warm, sunny day. The Skylark, Yellowhammers and Robins were singing all the time and then we heard the call of a Buzzard.

In this stint there was a big absence of Blackthorn, jus a small amount in the final 30 metres. This was interesting as the absence really started from the field hedgerow dividing Parkinson's Field from Hill Close.

In this stint there were a couple of major gaps that had been planted up with saplings of hawthorn, hazel and holly but these species were not included in the age calculations.

The ditch was still evident but shallow in places although rabbit warrens do destroy such features and there was good evidence of rabbits on this part.

In the final part of the stint we measured an Ash, Tree 242 in the Natural History Survey. Although not of qualifying girth it is important as an Ancient Boundary Tree and would have been bigger if not so war-torn!

This boundary was planted on the highest part of land between Rothley and Thurcaston and the Ancient Field name of Hill Close reflects this.

STINT 18

Date: 31st March 2004 / 7th April 2004

Observers: Brian Verity, Terry Sheppard, Janice Verity, Marion Vincent

Location: Site accessed from the Bridle Road

OS Ref: SK57761109-SK57851105

Map Title: Site 201 Hill Close (and Bill's Wood).

Owners: Mr Anthony Cooper, Southfield Farm, Rothley.

Yet more Crab Apple which will deserve a picture when in full flower. It has a really ancient, large, old trunk.

Also, another gap that has been planted with young saplings, protected from the rabbits, which inhabit this boundary.

This whole stint has large, knarled, bent over trunks of hawthorn and the gaps have all been planted up with protected saplings of holly, hawthorn, hazel and blackthorn. We now see Field Maple in places and one has grown into a good-sized tree. There is a good-sized Ash, Tree 244, recorded for the Natural History Survey, which has a girth of 2.8m.

The ditch is evident all along this stint.

STINT 19

Date: 7th April 2004

Observers: Brian Verity, Terry Sheppard, Janice Verity, Marion Vincent

Location: Site accessed from the Bridle Road

OS Ref: SK57851105-SK57981098

Map Title: Site 201 Hill Close (and Bill's Wood)

Owners: Mr A. Cooper, Southfield Farm, Rothley

This stint continues as before with a ditch, ancient trunks of hawthorn and crab apple and gaps planted up with saplings of hawthorn, blackthorn, holly, hazel and dogwood.

In the second 30 metres there is an Ash, Tree 244, in the Natural History Survey, with a girth of 3 metres. It is in a very poor state being hollow inside and lost a lot of branches but it is an important Ancient Parish Boundary Tree.

In the final 30 metres there are two good-sized Ash, Trees 245 and 246, both with a girth of 3 metres and both, again, in rather a bad state.

At the end of the stint there is a good-sized Field Pond, Pond 25, which I have called Hill Close Pond. There was no sign of wildlife in it and it is rather isolated being surrounded by arable land. It is very overshadowed and could do with being opened up to let in some light and encourage pond plants. I do not know if it dries up in the summer but it had a good body of water when recorded.

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