Belhus Blog

The bigger picture - aerial photographs 2014 - 2016

Three aerial photographs showing the North Field between 2014 and 2016 as viewed from above the M25 - the western boundary of the park.
Between 2014 and 2015 we can see the disappearance of the haul roads and the appearance of the perimeter footpath. The land drains are clearly visble in the southern section of the North Field. The wildflower meadow which was seeded with green hay from a local nature reserve is beginning to grow.
In the 2016 photograph, we can see the meadow really taking off. In this photo we can see that the pads and roads for the wind turbine have been put into place as well as an extra footpath veering of from the western side of the main path.The detailed ridge and furrow system in the reedbed area is showing - as are the pools recently created in this wetland system. Construction of the cap has begun on the area south of the woodland (South Field) and we can see the haul road running along the top of the field has been put in place which allows us to run material to the rest of the field to form the cap. The western section is clearly being worked on -  this will enable us to create a footpath linking Little Belhus Country Park to the Oak and Ash plantation to the southwest of the site. 

Scrubs up well!

The Epping Forest Conservation Volunteers helped out at Little Belhus by planting up a 1 hectare scrub area Dec 2016. The scrub will add habitat diversity as it will be in addition to the woodland and wildflower habitats already present in the park; when the trees mature they should provide an abundance of fruit and berries to the birdlife in the area. 
Unlike the woodland patches we have planted on site, the scrub areas will be cut more frequently on rotation and will be kept to a height of around 4 metres. This will create an understory with more light, which is beneficial for seed germination, and the sun loving reptiles and insects.

Wochaduna Waters

A Thurrock Enquirer article about Dilkes Academy naming the big lake at Little Belhus Country Park. Pupils from the school had fun making a mosiac of the lakes new name, and a butterfly mosiac which we will be displaying on our Skip Garden located at the lake.
Wochaduna is the old name for Ockendon as recorded in the Doomsday book.
The lake is home to hundreds of dragonflies and is being used to show the local children pond dipping and the creatures that live within it.

Privet Hawkmoth

A Privet hawkmoth which flew into our work site. We rescued it and put it on an Ash tree (one of its food plants). It is one of the largest hawk moths and you can just make out its pink and black body in the first photo.