It has been quite some time since the last Blog post and nature hasn't stood still of course. So what has happened?
All the non-native trees in our garden have now been felled and replaced by British native trees, such as Poplar, Willow, Oak, Elm and Hazel. Some of these species are suitable for SRC (Short Rotation Coppicing) so a few well-rooted Poplars and Willows have been cut off this Winter at approx. 6" above the ground, for new shoots (typical 6-7 shoots) to emerge and grow for the next 4-5 years to provide us with firewood. This process can be repeated 5-6 times before the tree is exhausted.
The fruit trees in the Orchard have all been pruned and 1/2 dozen new fruit trees have been planted.
The overgrown and out-of-control hedge on our Southerly boundary has had a real good trim at approx. 5' high, so it can now regenerate and become thicker, healthier and more wildlife friendly and provide privacy, as we will now let it grow to approx. 6'.
The first frogs and toads appeared by the end of February in our little pond so thousands of tadpoles are providing food for our newts – but there will be plenty left to complete the cycle.
Two Grey Herons appear every morning at dawn and are eying up the fish in the pond - according to our 'in-house Zoologist' Richard the pond shouldn't really have any goldfish in at all so we don't really mind. Baby rabbits have started appearing with the lovely summery weather last week - all week- up to 21C. by the end of March - unheard of. But snow is forecasted for tomorrow so we'll see all seasons this week. We haven't seen any badger activity lately: A small woodland close to us is being cleared out so we think they may have lost their habitat and moved on. However the Muntjac deer keep visiting our garden and nibble all the fresh young shoots of everything so we see some very strangely shaped plants and lots of fraying damage.
The wild flower meadow area has been cut for the first time this year to suppress the grasses and give the wild flowers and Orchids a change: The next cut will take place around October.