Sunday, 27 December 2009

A date for your diary.

Mark Nowers, the RSPB warden at Wolves Wood, has offered to organise a moth hunt on Saturday the 12th June
It will mean an early start, investigating the trap, which will have been set up the previous evening.
We will just have time to demolish some bacon butties, before Mark guides us round the wood, to look for and listen to the local birds.

This moth was keeping in the shade on the trunk of our old apple tree. A Red underwing, I think. I might be more positive after the Moth Hunt!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Hedge Laying Day

Following a week of horrible weather, we had a lovely sunny day for our hedge laying workshop, bright and not too cold. Bob Howe and Geoff Kistner spent Tuesday preparing the next length of overgrown and unmanaged hedge, which made the task a little easier for the volunteers.

Although thinned out, the remaining growth still needed to be unravelled and trimmed, before the skilled work could start.
After a short break for a soupy lunch and cake, the team continued laying and then fixing the new hedge with stakes and binders.
Next year the new growth should be thick and strong , a good habitat for birds and other wee beasties.
They resulting bit of hedge looks good, with another section to the right that will be tackled later on. Our thanks go to Jim Wallden from Haskett Ltd, who was an expert guide and kindly left some binders for our use, the refreshment team and all those who helped before and on the day.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Peter Berry

Members of the group were very sad to learn that Peter Berry, Babergh District Council's Countryside Officer, had died suddenly last week.
He has helped and supported the development of our new community woodland scheme and will be missed by us and all people that knew him and shared his love of the countryside.

Monday, 23 November 2009

National Tree Week 25th November--6th December

People who are concerned about the future of our planet know that planting trees will help to slow the damaging effects of climate change.

If you are unable to plant trees yourself then you could support The Woodland Trust or The Green Light Trust. Both organisations are planting new areas of woodland. So sponsor some tree planting today and hope that it's not too little, too late.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Hedge laying Workshop and Working Party Day Our last working party and hedge-laying workshop

We shall be holding another workshop on Saturday 6th. December. Our expert guide, Jim Wallden, will be on hand to help newcomers acquire this ancient skill, and remind those who worked on the above stretch last year, what to do!

This will also be our last working party this year and there will be plenty for everyone to do, not least, tidying up the debris from the hedge layers!

Soupy refreshments will be available and a few extras, with Christmas in mind.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Sunny Sunday

Last Sunday was the first time in ages that I've been able to linger in Buckle's Wood, with my camera.

Lots of butterflies, especially little brown ones, that were very mobile and difficult to photo

These two were the best of the rest

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly on thistle seeds Lovely to see this as they have been rather scarce over the last few years.

Painted Lady. I've never seen one before!

I spotted this in the vegetation by the side of the footpath that leads to the wood. A spider guarding its web.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Blanche's Bench

Blanche was always part of the steering group. She was determined that our trees would get planted and she would have many years to enjoy watching them grow. Sadly, that wasn't to be.

We thought that the most appropriate spot for her bench would be in the middle of the wood, with the trees growing all around, but I think that we shall have to cut down of the nearby vegetation, before we have her total approval. She was a bit prickly about thistles!

Photos from Alison Grant

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Bird Track

Had a message from the RSPB, as follows:

BirdTrack is an online bird recording scheme that allows you to store and manage your birdwatching records from around Britain and Ireland.

Taking part couldn't be easier - just register as a recorder (it's free), then start to enter your valuable bird records.

From casual records, to full species lists for a site, all the collected information helps fill gaps in our knowledge of numbers, distribution and movements of birds, which in turn feeds into conservation decisions made by organisations like ourselves.

As well as providing a comprehensive record of what you have seen, with your permision all submitted records are also made available to your county bird recorder.

Animated maps are available through the BirdTrack pages and show the arrival and departure of migrants, as well as the seasonal movements of birds at both a local and national level.

In partnership with the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and BirdWatch Ireland, BirdTrack was launched in 2004 and has since gone from strength to strength. With your help we can continue to gather unique and fascinating information on Britain and Ireland's birds.

Click to sign up here.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Summer Days

The PTA Fete was enjoyed by lots of people and the rain kept off until almost the end, in fact it arrived just as the rescue helicopter left and all the stall holders started to pack up and go home.
Many thanks to the people who helped on the day, or provided items for the "raffle"

The lucky winners were:-
Marion Brown (bird Table), Mr Sissons (basket of fruit), Jean Lawrence (Buckle's Wood Bag full of eco-goodies), Duncan McLennan (Intelliplug), Joy Sillitoe, Mac, Mrs Ratcliffe, Mr Knights,Simon Bishop, and Liam Glennam (pack of 4 low energy light bulbs).

Well done everyone

Monday, 8 June 2009

Buckle's Wood in June

The trees are growing well and look good, although we have lost a few over the winter. Most of the wild flower plants that were planted and protected by wire netting are also doing well, although I expect they are looking a bit battered after last night's storm.

These photos were taken a few hours before the hail started! Red Campion and Ox-eyed Daisy.

We shall have a stall at the PTA Fete again this year.


Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Watering the Wild Flowers

All the wild flower plugs have been planted in the woodland and the school's tree nursery. The rainy days, following a dry period, came just in time!

Pam Oldroyd has been sorting out her plants and has given us some large clumps of wild primroses, which originated from a wood in Essex, many, many years ago. I'm sure they will thrive in Buckle's Wood. Thank you Pamela.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Bees and Wild Flowers

The Wild Flower plugs, especially selected to attract bees and other nectar loving insects, were planted last weekend by members of the Management Group.
One hundred plants were given to school, for the pupils and staff to plant in their empty tree nursery. The children will be able to watch them grow and learn to identify the flowers in the summer. They plan to collect seeds in order to sow them next spring.

We should be worried by the global decline of the bee population. The Varroa mite has spread from Asia to to all parts of the world except Australia and has a debilitating affect on bees. The use of chemicals by farmers, loss of habitat and adverse weather conditions are all thought to contribute to this decline.
There is plenty of information about bees on the web, but Breathing Spaces is a good place to start

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Wild and Watery

Work in the wood was almost cancelled today as the weather was foul! Even the ducks that visit our garden looked dismal.
However, a sturdy group of woodlanders, donned wet weather gear and woolly beanies and set off over the bridge, with a promise of hot soup and delicious cakes to follow, when the work was finished.
Why the urgency?
Well, with thanks to the Green Light Trust, we have received another Tree Council grant to buy more wild flower plugs and they have to be planted next month. To help the bee population, we have ordered nectar producing plants from British Wild Flower Plants in Norfolk.
The pupils from Elmsett School will put some of the plants into their tree nursery and then collect the seeds in the Autumn.
Thank you to everyone who helped today, to Jackie, Pam and Diane for the refreshments, and the super soup makers

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Hadleigh Green Fair

Well, here we are, displaying out wares at the first Hadleigh Green Fair, organised by the local Green Party. Plenty of people came to enjoy the friendly atmosphere.

Mac, Maria, Fiona and Morag (the willing volunteers) did a great job looking after our stall and deserve a BIG THANK YOU giving up their time to help. They were able to spend their spare moments looking round and chatting to other, like-minded, stall holders. Bags and books were sold. Nathan Gregory won the Buckle's Wood bag which was packed with eco-goodies.

Although we didn't make a fortune, it was thought that the event was well worth supporting.
Photo: Morag Embleton

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Beacon for Bees

People are worried about bees. A lot have been dying because of disease, poor weather conditions, loss of habitat, use of pesticides and other unknown reasons.

As they pollinate some of our crops, fewer, or no bees at all would have a bad impact on the country's food production.

Last autumn we planted loads of wild flower plugs around our woodland, in an effort to encourage insects, butterflies and moths. Not all the plants will grow--the rabbits have made sure of that!
The children at Elmsett School will be growing more wild flowers plants for us this year, as there is space in the tree nursery. If they are quick they could apply for a free packet of
"be good to bees"wild flower seeds from Blue Peter .
What a good idea!

Friday, 20 February 2009

Hadleigh Green Fair

We shall have a stall at the Hadleigh Green Fair,
which is being held between 10am - 4pm at The Guildhall
on Saturday 14th March We shall be promoting Buckle's Wood
and Elmsett School's Community Recycling Centre.
Our bags will be on sale and there will be other eco-bargains to buy and win.

This is the first event of its kind to be organised by The Green Party in Hadleigh and there will be lots to to see and enjoy. These are some of the planned attractions
Acoustic Live Music ~~The Mad Hatters Tea Garden
Craft Stalls & Green Woodworking ~~ Local Environmental Groups
Café Green for Homemade Cakes & Spring Broth
Energy Saving Exhibition
Admission is FREE
Enquiries to: Ian St.John. Tel: 01473 823729

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Green woodpecker

Taken in Elmsett by John Gillies, this photo has appeared in the Evening Star and the East Anglian Daily Times.

The green woodpecker is the largest of the three woodpeckers that breed in Britain. This looks like a female.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Main events for this year

We have planned three main working parties for this year. Others may be fitted in if needed!

March 28th, for general tidying up and sorting out.

June 13th, when we shall be preparing the wood in readiness for the School's Village Fete.

June 20th. The P.T.A.'s Village Fete. We shall have a stall to promote the woodland and raise funds.

September 12th, which will probably involve rakes and sunshine!

December 5th, which is a tentative date for a second hedge laying session. If we have a late spring, we hope that there will be time to fit another one in then.

At the last meeting of the Management Group, we decided to remember Blanche by placing another seat in the woodland, similar to the one on the left.
Like many other dog walkers, she loved the wood and the fact that she and the community could look forward to watching it grow and develop. Alas, it wasn't to be.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

For Blanche

It was Blanche's funeral at St Peter's today. The Rev. Gerald Harrison, in his usual gentle way, reminded us of Blanche's four-legged family - the dogs, cats and rabbits. They were family to Blanche, who used to refer to individual animals, like my dog, as this or that "little person".

I thought it was apt that, while the congregation sang "All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small", a very determined creature, almost certainly a rabbit, was trying to dig its way into or under the church; the scrabbling noises were quite loud.

It was also apt that, unbeknown to the congregation, one of the bearers who carried Blanche into the church was Ron, a retired RSPCA inspector. I think he may have met Blanche, years ago. The collection was for the RSPCA, in Blanche's memory. If you'd like to contribute, and didn't get a chance to do so at the funeral, you can send cheques to The Co-operative Funeral Service, 47 St Helen's Street, Ipswich, IP4 2JL, saying it's in memory of Blanche Seager, for the RSPCA. Otherwise, you can donate online.

Blanche will become part of St Peter's churchyard, where the rabbits, owls and other creatures will keep her company, year in, year out. The West Country poet Thomas Hardy wrote about such a place in his poem "Transformations":
Portion of this yew
Is a man my grandsire knew,
Bosomed here at its foot:
This branch may be his wife,
A ruddy human life
Now turned into a green shoot.

These grasses must be made
Of her who often prayed,
Last century, for repose;
And the fair girl long ago
Whom I often tried to know
May be entering this rose.

So, they are not underground,
But as nerves and veins abound
In the growths of upper air,
And they feel the sun and rain,
And the energy again
That made them what they were!
Our thoughts are with David, and his four-legged friends, at this sad time.

Illustration: 19th century copyright-free wood engraving

Monday, 26 January 2009

Buckle's Wood in January

It might not look like it, but this will all spring into life soon.

Click on the picture to see it large.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


We were all saddened to learn that one of the original members of our woodland group, Blanche Seager, had died suddenly, just after Christmas.

She was a much-valued member of our Steering Group, who was determined that our plans for new community woodland would become a reality. Always reliable, she pursued this aim with a cheerful enthusiasm, whether it was organising the refreshments or manning our EGGS stall in inclement weather. We know that she was looking forward to spending her retirement years watching the trees grow.

Our thoughts are with her family at this sad time. We shall miss her.