Monday, 23 February 2015


Experimenting with propagation starting with oak, chestnut, hazel, willow and broom  using cuttings and seedlings from the wood. I remove self seeded oak saplings that spring up every year on the Ride and transplant them into pots to grow on until ready to plant out in a more suitable position.   The chestnut and hazel seem to be the most successful though it took a dozen or more hazel cuttings to get one strong survivor.  Layering hazel is supposed to have a better success  rate than cuttings but I suspect this method will be more susceptible to deer munching.  The transplanted oak seems to be the most difficult, some  of them are still hanging on in there, but not exactly thriving. Perhaps they'll have a growth spurt this year. Each successful plant will need  major deer protection.          


Monday, 9 February 2015

Sunday at the wood

A beautiful sunny day with a definite hint of Spring  in the air. The main job was to finish the Scots Pine felling around the cabin to widen the views of the pond and let more sun in from the south. We never need an excuse for a bonfire,  and a fierce blaze soon consumed a huge pile of pine brash and holly . Lunch in the cabin, warmed by the wood burner while waiting for our home-made pasties to heat up...

...wood and cabin life - difficult to beat . The deer stalkers bagged one early this morning, and later a group of about 15 fallow were seen bounding through the wood  on the other side of the pond. We hope they decide to stay there.  To top a good, productive  day, Sarah was tending the bonfire  and looked up to see a red kite and two buzzards gliding  in a thermal,  in a patch of clear blue sky.

Red Kite

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Advanced tree skills

Ian demonstrated his expertise today when called upon to remove some branches from a venerable
Scots Pine. The tree had some  large broken branches that although still attached could
potentially have dropped on someone's head. Better safe than sorry.