A Chairs View

a personal account

Here is to another year

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2015 Has been a year of Highs and lows .I think that our worst low was the ConVols been the victim of arson having our bird hide burnt down, It was built in the log cabin style from freshly cut Larch and had become a regular spot for our local bird watching community. Unfortunately someone or group decided that the hide would be better as a pile of ash, not only that but I was also reported to the Police for endangering the woodland by been the victim of arson ,very strange some people. The Police never did catch the culprits but they do have strong suspicions

The best day was undoubtedly the Family Day. It followed a long period of rain,fog and cold weather and the day looked very much in doubt the closer we got to the date, the British summer at its camping best. The ConVols & Friends got together to produce a day to remember. We had free food,Wand making,face painting, Falconry , Chainsaw Demos . The Day started ominously with Cold & mist but we got everything set out. .By the fire pit we has our free BBQ and face painting spots and down by the side on the hill we had the Wand making and woodland activity s (Thank you Woodland Trust) . It got to late in the morning and still we did not seem to be attracting the punters but then they came in their hundreds. Parents ,Aunts ,Uncles, Brothers and Sisters. I wondered round with a high Viz jacket panicking about H&S. As you can see from the pictures we had a fantastic day but most importantly the Meadow was seen and enjoyed by huge number of visitors and lots of them new.

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Us almost finished for this year

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. This last Wednesday we continued to thin Millennium woods, even with the small number of young trees that were thinned it still made a huge difference to the amount of light hitting the floor and that will make an amazing difference to the variety of ground species growing in the woods over the next few years. The Volunteers will be back next year to carry on with the thinning and to introduce some classic coastal woodland flowers. When this small plot was planted it was done in that what seems crazy to us now in straight lines. Far too many trees are planted and it still goes on to this day. No thought as to how the wood will be thinned or monitored, just line after line of young trees all struggling to make headway in a continuous canopy. Why oh why can we plant less, more mature saplings and chose where we want them? Its much easer to come back and plant up gaps and we get a staggered canopy. As an added bonus we would use fewer tree guards, those biodegradable bits of plastic that NEVER seem to degrade

This week I visited Thorpe Trees http://thorpetrees.com/ with Dave Lyons its a heck of a trip but well worth it. We picked up some Black poplar, Greengage, Wild Pear, Scots pine, Damson and Crab Apple. The Black Poplar will be split into two groups. Three will be planted in the top Ash Stand with the other used to give a visual balance near the coppice and standard plantation. The fruit trees will be used to augment the Cherry Stand. We decided to do this because ALL of our cherry are suffering from a disease that drops all the leaves as soon as flowing is over, I dont know if we will loose the Cherry over the next few years but at least we will have a beautiful spring display from the fruit trees. We have also purchased wild Strawberry & Wild Hops to beef up the foraging stand. The Volunteers will be popping along to the Meadow on the 30 Dec to plant it all up (fingers crossed)

. .In the New year our neighbour and local Organic farmer Pete Wilson will be helping us bring one of our wet flushes back to life. A few years ago now the volunteers decided to augment one of the wet flushes and create a permanent wetland. So we set about digging the area out by hand, unfortunately it resulted in an invasion of Huge Mares Tale. This time we will use a digger to pull the top soil and the Mares Tale to one side and hope that and cutting it back three or four times will reduce its impact.

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