Category Archives: Uncategorized

Patience is rewarded

We have had a trumpet gentian growing in a border by the front door for about 20 years. It has just flowered this year, with 2 flowers, after sulking for as long as we can remember. We wonder when it will next flower.

Not such good news is that we don’t have any tadpoles, and the pond is rapidly drying out. A summer drought perhaps.

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Everything out at once

Primroses, Celandines, Sweet Violets, Dog violets

Wood anemones, Fritillaries, Daffodils, Primrose / cowslip hybrid

Moschatel, dogs mercury, speedwell, lady’s smock

… Spring looks wonderful

and winter clematis & bush honeysuckle still flowering

Spring is springing

The coppicing is finished for the year. I wanted to do more but the bluebell leaves are so advanced I didn’t want to damage them

After the snow & ice the sun is bringing out the flowers. The snowdrops have been out for a long time, and the primroses are suddenly appearing . Daffodils will be here soon. The celandine leaves can be seen, there should be a good show.

January tasks ahead

We’ve just had the hedge cut, at the correct time of year, after most of the seeds and berries have been eaten by the birds. Not in Autumn when some hedges are flailed, removing most winter stores.

Just about to start the coppicing with our friend Terry, an expert in the craft.

We’ve had three buzzards wheeling and calling above us, but here’s one having a rest. For the first time ever we’ve had a house sparrow on the ground underneath the bird feeder.

Resting buzzard

Helping our Sequoia – we hope

Our Sequoia has been showing signs of distress with lower branches on one side dying back. After advice from an arboriculturist we have had the hard driveway replaced with some Cellweb root protection – we hope it works.

Big wasps, and bees in the wrong home

We have, which seems very late in the season, some large wasps building an unusual nest underneath a bird box on the house.  Not sure which wasps, but could be Median or Tree wasps. Thanks to Buglife we now know they are European Hornets, which is good!

We put up a barn owl box last year, but it’s now become a beehive for wild bees. Question – do we remove it in case owls would like to use it, collect the honey or leave it be? The entrance has been filled with wax.

Spring is springing and squelching

Spring flowers are coming out in profusions. Brimstones are flying. Our primrose / cowslip natural hybrid is out, wood anemones, fritillaries, primroses, lady’s smock …. It all looks good, but the ground is wetter than it’s even been.

Our two plum trees are diseased which is worrying – there seems to be no treatment available.

The fallen tree is now all chainsawed.

 

Storm damage

I thought we had got away without any significant damage, however the chain saw will need to be in action again, when it’s back from repair.  One ash tree ripped apart, and a sallow leaning. No doubt the sallow will regrow if I coppice it. The ash may regrow if I coppice that as well because the roots haven’t moved.

Been out coppicing hazel & maple today in the rain because the bluebells seem to be sprouting very early.

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New life arrives, old departs

On the way to check on the Snowdrops in the wood, I came across a dead bird, like a wader, on the path – with no apparent cause of death. My initial thought was Woodcock, even though I’d never seen one before. Having checked in the bird book, I’m sure that is what it is.
Snowdrops are out.

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To be, or not to be, (in)

Missed a month because I’ve been away walk leading and on our family holiday, and only one pretty picture, a bee orchid on the Hangers. Back for tomorrow’s EU referendum, which which many people are bored, or confused.

In our opinion, and strictly relating to conservation, bio-diversity and sustainability is that being in the EU has on balance had a positive effect. Better water quality, better protection for migrating birds in southern Europe, and areas near here which have a high level of environmental protection.

SSSIs have no effective protection, and AONBs and national Parks have stronger protection, but less than the EU Special Protection Areas on our doorstep.

Recent UK governments have reduced building standards and tried to privatise the Forestry Authority which would have reduced public access, not demonstrating a great commitment to the environment.

Our biggest threat here is the Chinese owned golf club which wants to build another golf course on unspoilt countryside, immediately reducing bio-diversity. The EU level protection may help us.