Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The hedge now laid

A bit more preparation of the hedge the evening before.

Then the team set to on the Sunday morning.

Stakes and hetherings from the coppice coupe.  (Hetherings are the long thin poles that are twisted along the top of the stakes to hold the laid hedge in place)

Andy and Peter hammering the stakes in.

Got it done by lunch time.

 Tiring work

Let's hope it grows.  Several hawthorn and hazel plants were also planted to thicken up the hedge.

And here below is the view from the field side - before .  .  .

.  .  .  after a bit more thinning  .  .  .

.  .  .  and at the end of the day.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Revealing the hedge

The photo above, taken in September 2015, shows the hedge we laid last February.  It was hidden and almost overwhelmed by the summer growth of elder, burdock, nettles and goosegrass.  There are still a few gaps but by and large the hawthorn is growing back into a respectable hedge.   

The photos below, also taken in September 2015, show volunteers beginning to clear the bracken and bramble to enable us to access the next stretch of hedge for laying in spring 2016. 

Further work revealed that, as before, there was not much suitable material for laying.  It was either too large or the wrong species.  Elder, ivy and bramble do not produce good hedges.

Note the unused power line pole which we dicovered lying on the ground under the brambles.  This could make good 'legs' for some more bench seats.

Will, Allan, Eric and Anna in the jungle

Brett moving some of the cut material

Saturday, 26 March 2016

A tree dies; a fungus lives

You may remember how a young alder tree was sawn down by an unofficial tree surgeon in August 2014.  Got a sharp saw for his birthday, maybe.

Well for a bit it looked as if the tree would survive by sending out new shoots, but eventually it sensibly gave up the ghost.  Nothing is wasted in nature however and a fungus (probably Bjerkandera adusta) has colonised the stump and is recycling it.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Cow parsley, not a fern

'Cow Parsley' or 'Queen Anne's Lace' (I prefer this prettier name) is beginning to show all over the woods and in the grassland.  The fern-like leaves are as lacy as the creamy, white flowers that appear in drifts in April.

Look at these fresh, green, finely divided leaves starting up on the woodland floor

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Do we have fairies?

This rather charming little den complete with swing and rosette of twigs round the base of a tree appeared last week

and this neat den was produced in our coppice coupe, by persons unknown, at the weekend.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Hawthorn hatching

Buds on hawthorn bushes are already opening in sheltered corners of the woods.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Who's eating the primroses

In the shelter of our valley woodland at Filnore, primroses have been in flower for a week or more.

But looking more closely I see that something is up.

Someone has been nibbling or pecking at the petals

Could it be a mouse?  or a vole? or perhaps a bird?

Suggestions please to filnorefriends@gmail.com