Friday 10th March 2017
There definitely is an air of spring about today. Snowdrops have been out for a while, lots of daffodils can be seen by the roadside, in ‘Charter Wood’ – where we were working today – the leaf buds on the trees are developing nicely and the early Blackthorn blossom is just coming out.
Next to this site there is a number of piebald cob horses, a few of which seem to be still quite young and like all inquisitive youngsters they want to know what we are doing and kept us under close observation all the time we were there.
I expect this may be the last of our thinning out days in all our woodland sites this spring (although Matt may have other plans), until we resume in the autumn. We restrict our woodland thinning work to the winter period so as not to disturb the wildlife mating and breeding season. Our thinning activities this season have covered an area about the size of a football pitch, so by the autumn I expect we will see a big difference to the woodland floor here.
On the periphery of this area, which has been left unmanaged for several years, there are a number of dead Cherry trees some of which have fallen over and all have the tell-tale ‘ring of no bark’ at the base of the trunk, a hallmark of rabbit activity. One future task on this site will be to put fencing around the coppiced Hazel stumps, to prevent rabbit damage, as we did at Dunston Common last week. The dead Cherry trees will be useful for the next visit here as their lower branches make excellent kindling wood to start our fires.