They worked hard and by the end of the day had cleared nearly half of all the rows.A bonfire and the usual baked potatoes warmed in the ashes were enjoyed by all.
The end of the day brought some excitement as the mini-bus got its wheels stuck in the damp ground at the top of the plat. The Great Big Tractor responded to an emergency call and freed the bus with a few giant heaves. All good fun as far as the students were concerned but the rest of us were jolly glad that rescue arrived - thank you to the tractor driver!
|Stuck - what to do next?|
|Big Tractor to the rescue|
|BigTractor heads for home|
|Main bloc looking good|
Some fine days in January meant a start was made on pruning the 'young' bloc, with help from one or two faithful friends; - you know who you are: thank you! Although February brought snow it didn't last more than a few days but I decided to give pruning a miss while it lasted.
|A pretty sight but....|
|....too cold on the fingers for pruning.|
The wild hazel pollinators have become very tall and take light from the nut trees; two were coppiced last year and this year two more were done. The result is more light to the trees, less shelter for squirrels to loiter in, plenty of bean poles and pea sticks, and a stack of firewood for my wood-burning stove.
|A well-coppiced hazel tree|
The hedge which was so expertly laid in November is looking good and will start to bush out when spring arrives.
There has been a great show of catkin on the trees and all around the edges of the plat where wild hazels make a pretty picture.
Lichen also stands out; this lot was spotted on one of the young trees.
There were still prunings to be cleared and the Hadlow students answered the call. This time Eleanor, the trainee Ranger was able to join us and proved most effective in motivating the students and helping to clear the rows. Here she gives a masterclass in how its done.
By the end of that day the whole area had been cleared - and it was still only the beginning of March!
I am glad to say there has been a good showing of the little, red, star-like flowers which augurs well for the coming season's crop. Primroses are showing their faces, buzzards can be heard overhead on warm days, wood-peckers drilling and, surprisingly, tawny owls hooting in the middle of the day.
Now for a different cobnut story:-
|A display case at the Linnean Society, Burlington House, London|
|Item 3 describes the exhibit|
|Library of the Linnean Society where cobnuts were displayed|