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    Petersfield volunteers confused about the cutting away of ivy

    Volunteers who look after Petersfield Heath have been left confused after ivy was mysteriously cut away from trees and removed.

    The town council of Petersfield manage the 93-acre beauty spot, and the Friends of Petersfield Health volunteers carry out maintenance work and development projects.

    It was the volunteers who noticed that the ivy had been cut away from mature trees along the Heath alongside Sussex Road. The group says it wasn’t cut away by a town council contractor, or a South Downs National Park Authority range, or by Highways engineers.

    Where it has suitable support, Ivy can grow 30 metres up a tree. Friends of the Heath volunteer, Melanie Oxley, said: “Ivy does not kill trees, it only uses tree trunks for support.

    “It can flower into November, extending the feeding season of bees, wasps, butterflies and moths, and some insects are dependent on it.

    “The leaves are food for caterpillars, and ivy berries are winter food for thrushes and if not eaten they provide an important food source for young birds in the spring.

    “Insects in the ivy are a great food source for not only many birds but also bats.”

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