VOLUNTEERS helped to maintain a natural habitat in Nettlebed.
Ten members of the Sonning Common Green Gym were at Nettlebed Common (on September 5) to rake back overgrown bracken.
Chairman Dr John Hasler said the area had been full of silver birch before the trees were cut down several years ago.
He said: “We’re just making sure it’s safe. This is an example of an area where the heather has regenerated and it’s a fairly typical scenario of what the green gym does.
“It helps regenerate natural species to come back. We’re absolutely pleased with our work.”
Dr Hasler said that in the past the commmons were used by villagers to graze their cattle.
“That stopped and now we’ve just got woodland - we’re taking it back to how it used to be,” he said.
Secretary Robin Howles said the volunteers had to come back regularly to maintain the common. This was the second summer session and they will be returning in the winter.
He said: “It’s a wonderful setting for all sorts of creatures and insects. The area has a lot of butterflies now, including lots of different species.”
Volunteer Tony Chandler said it was important to cut back bracken because otherwise nothing grows underneath it.