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Later in 2015, and beyond

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A large area in the middle of the field will be focussed on growing edibles: a fruit and nut orchard and a forest garden.

The fruit trees that I planted last year need to be pruned.

I have set up a tree nursery to grow more trees, shrubs and bushes. I’m learning tree grafting. There will be spare space for a few vegetables (stuff that doesn’t need to much looking after – potatoes, pumpkins, squashes, sweetcorn, onions, garlic, parsnips and more).

I need a storage building – I’ll have to apply for planning permission before I can build it.

The spoil-heaps from the ponds are ideal for planting wild flower meadows, in April.

Camping weekends in the summer – everybody who helps plant trees is invited.

I’m hoping to get a few apples from the new trees this year (not sure about that, need to read up on it, might be better to let the trees grow rather than setting fruit at this stage).

Put up some bird/bat boxes?

I want to add more hedging and some fencing over the next 12 months.

Beyond 2015

The orchard and forest garden will be established gradually over many years.

Not all of the trees we plant will thrive, some will need to be replaced.

Some of the existing trees need thinning and maintaining.

After 3-5 years the tree guards need to be removed (and can be reused).

Hedges that have been planted will need to be laid and managed.

Some areas will be coppiced, but not for at least 5 years.

At home we’re in our first year of bee keeping. Maybe if it goes well there will be bee hives in the forest garden one day?

Who knows what else, ideas developing all the time. More ideas welcome! It’s a very long term plan – most of the tree will live longer than I will – but they’ll mostly look after themselves once they’re established,

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