Saturday, 10 November 2012

Waiting for news

I've sent this photo, with a few others, to The Forestry Commission and I think I already know what their reply will be, as there are a number of sites locally where many young Ash trees have had to be destroyed.

Now the guidelines have changed and only those trees  which show signs of the Ash dieback disease will have to be destroyed.   At the moment only few of the 420+ Ash trees that we have planted display obvious signs of having the disease.
The latest guidance says that mature trees can be left, even if they are struck down by the fungus. Experts are hoping that  there will be some native trees left that are immune to this fungus.

There are a number of old, coppiced Ash trees in our ancient hedgerow, so it's great that they don't have to be cut down.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Ash Dieback

Farming Today on BBC Radio 4  this morning was all about this disease. A number of experts were interviewed followed  by a general discussion about whether should be done to keep our native trees free from imported diseases.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Ash Trees Dieback disease

  Chalara dieback of ash - browning of ash leaf tip caused by Chalara fraxinea fungus

The Foresty Commission has issued a warning about a fungal disease
that has reached our shores from the continent. A report on the Today programme this morning said that only trees in Norfolk were infected.
The link above gives more details and help with identifying diseased trees. It also gives contact details  of organisations that should be contacted if you are concerned about any  ash trees that are dying back.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

The woodland is beginning to look very colourful as autumn approaches. It has been a good season for berries in the hedgerow and on the trees. Fungi are started to pop up along the rides and most of the flowers have died down and are displaying pretty seedheads.

Rose hips



Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Old Knobbley's Book.

Old Knobbley the Oak Tree book cover
After many years of studying and admiring this 800 year old Oak tree in Mistley, my daughter has just published this beautifully illustrated childrens' book, which tells the tale of the events that he witnessed during his long and eventful life.
Designed with children in mind, this is an ideal book for Nature and history enthusiasts-- well if they are not interested in these subjects, they will be when they have looked at the book!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

The rides have been cut!

It took James nearly 3 hours to cut the rides and the footpath along from the Old Rectory. As you can see there is plenty of vegetation to rake up and put into piles amongst the trees. This will encourage small mammals and insects into the wood.

We have made a start and the area in the middle and one of the rides have been cleared.  The lovely weather this weekend should encourage our willing volunteers to finish off the job.

These two wee beasties were a bit of a distraction. The Green Shield Bug on the seed head of a cow parsley plant  and a small spider that darted from the middle if it's web to sort out it's latest prey.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Wet, wet wet!

The wood is looking very colouful just now with a great variety of wildflowers growing along the rides and between the trees. One evening last week, I wandered about with my camera, as the sun was setting.  There were plenty of bees and other small beasties about, but not many butterflies, which is a bit worrying. The wet summer hasn't suited them at all and it has been difficult for us to find a suitable time to cut the rides.

There are always plenty of tiny beasties jumping around in the grass beween the trees. This one is a Meadow Grasshopper (I think)

This tiny spider seemed to be
posing in the evening sunlight!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Sunshine suits all.

We have had a couple of reasonably sunny days, with not too much wind, just right for wandering round the wood with the camera. Three interesting things caught my attention.

Pyramidal Orchid
Only one spotted in the woodland, although they are thought to be fairly common in England                                    

Its common name is Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon.  The flower opens early and closes at noon. As you can see, this photo was taken in  the glow of evening sunlight.

A Small Ermine moth caterpillar.
Many of the branches were shrouded  in what looked like a very large spider's web, which is secreted by  the caterpillars  to protect themselves from predators.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

A new elm tree for Elmsett

Photo by Loraine Wenham
James Buckle is planting our commemorative elm tree in the middle of our wood next to the  last area of trees that were were donated by and  planted  by the community.
Most of the elm trees in and around the village were killed by dutch elm disease in fact there are a few skeletal trees in the hedge that surrounds the wood.
This tree has been selected from stock that has some resistance by King and Co. a tree nursery near Braintree.
Let's hope that this one will grow straight and tall and survive for many years.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Celebrations in the Wood

The rain kept away and many people came to celebrate our Queen's Jubilee and watch James buckle plant our commemorative tree.
Much thought and effort had gone into making the scarecrows. Local charity shops had been raided to find suitable clothes and props for their creations and James Buckle, our judge, looked long and hard to find the winners!

 He thought that Lizzie, the bird-watching queen, was well thought out and reflected the  queen's love of the countryside.
There were lots of extra props (the tartan scarf, a pair of binoculars, the scarf, tied in royal fashion and a bird spotters magazine in her pocket) which made this, a truly royal scarecrow.

The rest of the scarecrows are lurking in the Jubilee Scarecrows page above!


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Commemorative tree

We collected this lovely disease resistant elm tree from King and Co's  tree nursery in Rayne, Essex yesterday. Could have bought a whole load of other, well grown trees for our garden, but this one took up most of the room in our small car!
It's just the right size and should grow well in the middle of the wood.
Thanks nurserymen for your help.
James Buckle will be planting this for us at 11 o'clock on Tuesday 5th June, when we celebrate the Queen's Jubilee.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

So much to learn

An excerpt from the feature documentary by Louie Schwartzberg following notable mycologist, Paul Stamets, as he discusses the important role mushrooms play in the survival and health of the earth and human species.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Winter wanderings

On a cold, bright morning, as I wandered round the wood, not expecting to take many photos, I glanced down at the base of the hedge that runs along the back and spotted these gelatinous fungi, growing on a rotting length of wood.
The Jew's Ear fungus is smooth when fresh, but becomes hard and folded as it matures and dries out in dry weather. It is able to rehydrate when it rains and continue to shed spores. It likes damp woodland and is widespread in warmer parts of northern temperate zones.

There have been sightings of the barn owls hunting over the woodland. It would be good if they decided to become residents of out barn owl box.
A kestrel family were the first occupants and Roger Horne took this lovely photo of a chick, while it was being ringed. Last year I think the jackdaws got there first.
We shall see!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Improving the hedgerow

As you can see from the photo, the hedge between Buckle's Wood and the village meadow is in a sorry state! Some serious restoration is needed.
We have applied for a pack of saplings from The Woodland Trust, given to communities as part of the Jubilee celebrations. When I last looked, they had received over 7,000 requests. If we are lucky, it will be a great start to our project. the birds, insects and other wildlife that are attracted to well maintained hedges will be glad too!