Volunteers were out in force last weekend in Plymbridge Woods assisting the Rangers with the continuing task of laurel bashing and burning.
On Saturday, we were joined by students from Plymouth University including members of the Environmental Society from the Students’ Union. This formed part of our new programme of volunteering opportunities available to the students throughout the academic year. Sunday saw South Devon National Trust Volunteers lending a helping hand, as they regularly do with many tasks here in the Plym Valley and other NT properties. Both groups attacked this prolific invader of native woodlands with great energy and determination, making a considerable dent in our efforts to eradicate this species from Plymbridge Woods.
Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) is native to the Balkans (Southeastern Europe) but has been grown for ornamental purposes across Europe and has become naturalised in open woodland. Due to its vigorous growth habits and adaptability to varying climatic conditions, it out competes our native plant species for space and light. It also has limited value to our native fauna. Eventually, we will replant areas previously dominated by laurel with native tree species in order to enhance the biodiversity of the woodland.