Author Archives: Ancient Wood Liss

Tree creeper – and ivy

We are lucky to have a tree creeper nesting in the bark of our sequoia. A few years ago a tree creeper tried but the nest was regularly destroyed, probably by squirrels or jays or magpies. So far so good this year.

Our kites are still nesting, hopefully a young one will appear.

 

 

 

Fantastic Early Purple Spotted Orchids this year

Our Early Purple Spotted Orchids are on the move! In one part of the wood they have practically disappeared this year, on the other side there are practically twice as many. Climate change on a micro scale? Over 200 flower heads in a small area, in a 10 metre strip.

 

 

Red kites nesting, perhaps

Red kites have built a nest just on the edge of our wood, high up in an ash tree.

They are very nervous and I’m not sure if they have stayed or moved on. We shall see.

Ransom pesto – no, not an April or Ransom Fool

It’s Spring and the Allium ursinum is flourishing, otherwise known as Ransoms or Wild Garlic

The leaves have been magically transformed into pesto. Before and after below.

Excellent use of wood (timber)

In November 2015 we cut down some collapsing Wild Damson

https://ancientwoodland.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/leaning-trees-work-in-progress/

which was taken away by a Worker in Wood , Colin Norgate ( http://www.colinnorgate.co.uk/ ) Excellent craftsmanship.

It’s now in the process of being dried and looks very interesting. I’m about to supply some ash, I hope that works out as well.

 

 

 

First flowers out

The snowdrops in the wood were the first wild flowers flowering, but since I took the photo last weekend garden cyclamen, crocus and primroses bursting forth. Great.

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We await the Barn Owls

We now have an empty barn owl box.

Barry & Madeleine who live in Greatham suggested that our wood could be a good location for owl boxes and Barry makes them – so now we have one specially designed as a des-res for a barn owl. We need to coppice a field maple to make a space for them to fly in easier which is just about to happen. We wait with bated breath, but it could be a while!

 

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Coppicing – and a surprise bug

We have been coppicing a new area of the copse, trying to get some sort of rotation going. The last three years efforts look good. A friend helped and we did about 10 stools, it doesn’t sound much but some were large. We now have plenty of small wood for the fire, and hazel rods if anyone wants them. We also tried laying one to see if it will root as there are some areas which could do with filling in.

Came across this Hawthorn Shield Bug on one hazel I was cutting down. It didn’t shift so it went carefully with the cut stem.

shield-bug

 

Strange oak gall

In September I was leading walks in Provence for HF Holidays and spotted this very strange oak gall. It took me ages to identify it as

ANDRICUS DENTIMITRATUS

It’s amazing what a gall wasp can cause to happen.;

 

Galle du chĂȘne d'Andricus dentimitratus

Oh dear, oh deer

In the winter we coppiced a bay tree (Laurus nobilis), which had rather got out of hand. Some of the wood has been given to a woodworking friend to see if it will turn, it seems a fine grained wood, which smelled rather nice when being cut up. We’re not short of bay leaves for cooking with.

The coppicing has worked, photograph below, but possibly surprisingly the dear like it, even though the young shoots are very aromatic. Half has been heavily browsed, half has escaped. The culprit’s mug shot is below.

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