Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

Advertisements

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.

P1070735P1070733

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.

P1070731

P1070732

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.

Bluebell beauty

Just back from walk leading on the French Riviera where spring is very well advanced and many of the orchids are finished, whereas here the Early-purple orchids are still to be in their full glory.

What a contrast, bluebells here, natural rock gardens there.

P1070016

P1010546

 

We beat Countryfile to it.

@BBCCountryfile ran an item about Quince, the neglected fruit, but we had already got there.  The Quince marmalade looked good, but ours is now dulce de membrillo (quince cheese) and as fruit sliced up for pies in the freezer. They go wonderfully with apples or pears.

quince

Sweet Gum looking tasty!

Not strictly to do with an ancient woodland at all, but the Liquid Amber, aka Sweet Gum, (Liquidambar styraciflua)  in our garden is beginning to look good in the sun.

P1050802

Hello

What is an ancient woodland?  Through these pages we hope to share with you the current happenings of this area of land in East Hampshire (now in the South Downs National Park), which has never been cultivated and has always been a wood. By managing the woodland in a sympathetic way, the wildlife, birds and flowers are prolific.  We will try to record new activities, sightings of plants, animals and birds. Over time we will be able to see any fluctuations and trends.       We hope you might find it of interest.