Yesterday, with clear blue skies and a cool breeze, it seemed the
ideal day to clear out the old orchard here at Beefayre. So, armed
with saws and willing helpers, we set to for many hours achieving a
dramatic effect. We removed old and dead trees making several wood
piles, creating ideal wildlife habitat for a host of potential
residents such as invertebrates, hedgehogs, grass snakes and the
occasional muntjac deer! They frequently visit but unfortunately
damage the young roots of recently planted trees.
In particular, we removed many Elder trees and made several wide open
clearings so the sunlight can now get through. This will encourage many new
plants to germinate, especially the native bluebells, snowdrops and
aconite we will be planting. We found many arum (lords and ladies),
fresh green tulip shoots peeking out through the moss and leaf litter.
Many birds were singing and throughout the day we heard tree creepers,
gold-crests, song thrushes, chaffinches, wrens, robins, blackbirds and
coal, blue, great and long tailed tits. And all the while we heard
buzzards wheeling overhead mewing to each other. There’s more to be
done in the orchard but yesterday’s efforts were an excellent start!