Thursday, 30 April 2015

Wedding in the Wood

Getting organised for Milo and Martha's Wedding Party: The Yurt goes up.

The Bonfire site all ready to go

Sunday, 26 April 2015

On the cusp

The only Hornbeam in the wood and on its left, the only Aspen 
The wood is on the point of bursting into leaf and flower. A lovely time of the year,

We had a chat with a fisherman on the Pond who said he saw a huge group of  deer last week on the opposite side of the water. He heard the noise of their hooves before he spotted them. He managed to count 46 including 5 or 6 white ones, which are a sign of overpopulation and inbreeding. The deer stalking season is now over and  soon this year's young will be born, enlarging numbers even further. The deer stalker only managed to bag four this season, so we're not even keeping up with their reproduction rates. Clearly we'll need to do something more, though not sure what. Introduce a couple of  lynx or a wolf perhaps......................

The willows pollarded this year are just starting to shoot.
The willows pollarded last year are in leaf. The ground is sodden with recent rain, attracting many insects and a variety of birdlife. Just waiting for the Purple Emperor butterfly to put in an appearance.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Work continues

4 months ago we started clearing the holly on the SSSI side of the wood, and the optimistic aim was to finish the job  in 6 months. While we don't think we'll quite meet that target the work is making a real difference, letting in light to the woodland  floor and revealing surprisingly diverse and beautiful parts of the wood  previously hidden by dense dark holly growth. We're working in the north of the wood adjacent to the end of the pond which floods in the winter and dries to a small stream and boggy area from  Spring to Autumn. Before we started we could just glimpse through the holly 5 or 6 large oaks bracketed by two huge Scots Pines, all of which must have been planted well over a hundred years ago. In addition there is a large number of small beech which have been protected from the deer by the holly - so it does have its uses. The holly in this area had grown 30-40ft high, closing the canopy leaving only naked holly stems reaching up through the dense shade. The cleared area is becoming transformed; the oaks and Scots Pines can now be seen properly, the sun can get in,  and patches of sky can now be seen. When it's all done we'll make a holly trunk  seat to encourage the sitting and enjoying of a tranquil, atmospheric spot.                    



Another current project is the cutting of a track/bluebell walk running from South to North, starting just North of the birch clearing adjacent to the new entrance and car park. The track will allow in  light from the South, and meander through the birch wood passing oaks, rowan and beech, joining the Ride via the 'deer scallop' created a couple of years ago by the deer stalkers. Once the track is done, the birch on either  side will be pollarded, and finally, hazel, propagated from the wood, will be planted in front of the pollarded birch to create a graded woodland edge.

There are a few patches of bluebells , increased  light will soon encourage them to spread.