Everything grew well in 2017 but it still feels more like a field of plastic tubes than a woodland!
Sadly a few more trees adjacent to the footpath at Butcombe have been vandalised, but they are a tiny minority of the total.
We planted another 1800 trees and shrubs over the winter: replacements for a very few failures, improving hedges, filling a few gaps. There’s no space left.
I have a couple of acres of woodland which was planted densely about 18 years ago. Now it’s over-crowded and I need to think about some thinning so as to let the strongest trees grow and put down strong roots.
My biggest problem is grey squirrels which strip bark and are causing substantially damage to the 18 year old trees. Deer are damaging these trees and the recent plantings. Ants also continue to kill newly planted trees by building their ant nests in tree shelters, swamping the trees.
I’m gradually getting brambles under control and I’m adding bit-by-bit to the forest garden. Lots to do.
I’ve recently joined Small Woods, they seem to be a good source of advice and knowledge.
Meanwhile I’m working with a few others on plans for a collective land purchase and tree planting project somewhere near Bristol.