Bare patch of land turns into a wonderful wood
vegetation threatened for a time to take over. But now some of the taller trees have really got away and the shade they create has helped to thwart the growth beneath. What it needs now is some serious management. Some trees probably need to be sacrificed to allow the true specimens to thrive.
But the overall effect is spectacular. And the wide mixture of species, including berry and seed-bearing trees that were planted, makes it a haven for birds too.
I have seen cuckoos in the early summer and huge flocks of longtailed tits in February flitting through the canopy.
A sparrowhawk hunts the rides that have, latterly, been cut through the thick understorey and roe deer hide in the bracken at the edges of the most heavily wooded parts.
Creating this patch of new woodland, which sits alongside some genuine ancient tree cover, full of big old oaks, was a labour of love for the landowner, a lady no longer with us sadly, who did much of the backbreaking planting herself and lived to see most of her saplings grow. She will, of course, be denied the chance to see a true forest created from her efforts, but that’s the nature of planting trees – you do it for the generations that come after you, not for yourself.
The dog walkers and others who enjoy this area today have been given a far more diverse landscape to enjoy than would have been the case without that landowner’s vision and hard work. We need more like her.