We have planted a lot of trees here and those planted a few years back are finally starting to establish and grow taller than me. But what was missing was connecting the various patches of woodland. So, we devised a wildlife corridor that will connect woods to the north of the house all the way to the new planted woodland that runs along the southern edge.
It will start with a hedge that will be planted this autumn. This will have the added benefit of screening off a cottage. The fencing is in place (to keep the sheep from eating it), just need to wait for hedge planting season.
Part two is a band of trees at the end of the lambing paddock. These were panted in May, a last gasp order that was despatched just before the end of season deadline. Unfortunately, the dry weather caught us out and about half the trees lost all their leaves. We have been watering them daily (with water from a natural pond) and all but three have recovered, though one is still in intensive care as it is not enjoying its daily baking by our unusually hot and persistent summer.
The ones that are recovering are showing new growth at the base and will be watered daily till we are absolutely sure they are established.
Part three runs along what we call the ‘marshy bottom’ field. It’s where water overflows from the pond mentioned above on it’s way to our wee loch. It’s damp and treacherous and we had a constant fear that one of the sheep would get into difficulties. Normally, wouldn’t go there but every now and then, tups from the neighbouring appear in the field the other side of the marsh and they are a huge temption to our girls.
This has now been fenced off and planted with about 40 trees, mostly ash seedlings from the ash tree next to our house which, touch wood, seems to be unaffected by ash dieback. The plan is, in late autumn, to transplant a number of self seeded willow and alder trees that are in inappropriate locations into this area and transform it into a vibrant woodland.
We did move two quite large trees, over 4m tall, and they are thriving. You can just about make them out in the photo to the right. The bank is quite damp (north facing) and so was perfect for them.
The next part is a small area next to a stone dyke (where we filled in an unused gate) and about 30 trees are thriving there, no tree guards as we built a fence that should keep the deer out.
Finally, there’s a small area where we store our firewood, the stuff that needs a visit from the chainsaw to convert it into logs. That too will be populated with transplated trees.
From there, it meets up with the trees border ing our wee loch. Overall, it will form a ‘U’ all around our patch. The west side is commercial forest, not much we can do about that!