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Disease in American deer - chronic wasting disease (zombie deer disease).

Disease in American deer – chronic wasting disease (zombie deer disease).

by Chris ~ 27 February, 2019 ~ comments welcome

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) affects deer, sika deer, reindeer, elk and moose. It was recorded in the wild in the United States some forty years ago, but had been seen in captive deer back in the 1960’s. Now the number of reported / observed cases is increasing; it is spreading in the United States and Canada.  Some 24 states in the U.S  and two Canadian provinces have recorded cases.

Chronic wasting disease also known as ‘Zombie Deer Disease’ affects the central nervous system of the animal.  The deer experience loss of co-ordination, weight loss, bouts of extreme aggression. And eventual death.  It is a neuro-degenerative disease.  The affected animals have a ‘wasted appearance’ and a ‘vacant stare’. Read more...

MIDDLE EARTH ... and our own woodland project

MIDDLE EARTH … and our own woodland project

by Jackie & David ~ 24 February, 2018 ~ 4 comments

As we sat outside The Middle Earth pub on Whitby’s harbour front, enjoying the early evening autumn sunshine, my wife looked at me and said “There’s something I want to talk to you about”. For a heart stopping moment my mind raced and I felt a mixture of emotions as I feared some dreadful news was coming my way. Instead, Jackie completely floored me by asking “How do feel you about us buying a wood?”   In the first instance I was speechless then apprehensive, confused and finally, elated!   Looking back, how I managed to hold onto my pint I’ll never know. Read more...

Wildlife and roadkill.

Wildlife and roadkill.

by Lewis ~ 21 November, 2017 ~ one comment

By 2016, some 36.7 million vehicles were registered for use on the roads of the U.K.   Whilst sound statistics are available on human deaths from car / vehicle accidents ,  there is less reliable information on roadkill - the number of various animals killed on our roads each year.  Some information can be found in government statistics (link opens a PDF file), which suggest that deer are the largest category of casualties - though foxes and badgers are not far behind.

Apart from the government stats, there are a number of other organisations like the People’s trust for endangered species (PTES) and Project Splatter that are trying to gather detailed information on roadkill, both have web sites and apps for recording details of roadkill. Read more...

Woodland birds and deer

Woodland birds and deer

by Lewis ~ 20 July, 2017 ~ comments welcome

Woodlands throughout the U.K. currently support very large populations of various species of deer.  The indigenous deer species are Roe Deer and Red Deer.   Fallow Deer were introduced by the Normans but in the late C19th / early C20th Chinese water deer, Reeves Muntjac and sika deer arrived.  The three most widespread and abundant deer species now are Roe deer, Fallow deer and Reeves’ muntjac.

The total deer population is currently at a very high level  Read more...

Woodland moths and butterflies.

Woodland moths and butterflies.

by Lewis ~ 9 September, 2016 ~ 2 comments

There are many types of woodland, which may be broadly categorised by the dominant type of tree(s) - thus there is, birch woodland, oak woodland, beech woodland etc.  The flora and fauna of these different types of woodland varies though there can be similarities.  Some species, such as brambles and ivy can live in a variety of conditions whilst other plants / animals have very specific requirements.

This is certainly true for various animal species - for example, butterflies and moths. For example, the Brimstone (a pale yellow butterfly) has larvae (caterpillars) that need to feed Read more...

Italian forestry

Italian forestry

by Angus ~ 9 September, 2015 ~ one comment

Italy has a long tradition of forestry management going back before Roman times, and ancient traditions very much influence Italy's woodlands today.  For example, 40% of Italian wood production is chestnut or beech which, along with oak, would have been dominant species for the Romans.  There are also lots of non-timber forest products that are important to Italians such as mushrooms, wild boar and firewood.  Indeed compared to the UK, Italy gets a large proportion of its energy from woodfuel with almost 60% of cut wood being used for domestic heating. Read more...

Woodland types : Oak woodlands

Woodland types : Oak woodlands

by Chris and Stuart ~ 26 June, 2015 ~ 3 comments

Woodlands contribute substantially to the character of the countryside, clothing the sides of valleys and hillsides, forming copses and wider swathes of wood.  The amount of woodland varies from county to county, in some areas broadleaved woodland dominates whereas others have a preponderance of coniferous plantation.  The national average for woodland cover is about 8.3%, with Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire being some of the most ‘wooded’ counties.  The oak is perhaps one of our largest native, broad-leaved trees.  There are two native species of oak; the sessile oak (Quercus petraea) and the pedunculate oak (Quercus robur). Oaks are (generally) long-lived trees that grow quite slowly, compared to other broadleaved species. Both the pedunculate and sessile oak (and their hybrids) can grow to be very large trees.   Old trees can have a circumference of 10+ metres. Read more...

Heather and heath.

Heather and heath.

by Chris ~ 29 December, 2014 ~ comments welcome

There are a number of shrubs that have branched woody stems, which can grow to about one metre in height; and are associated with heaths and bogs.  There is heather, bilberry, cowberry, crowberry and bearberry.   However, the actual height of these plants is dependent on

  • their level of exposure to the elements (elevation and aspect) -  particularly wind,
  • the nature of the soil (its pH, nutrient and water status) and
  • the level of grazing by herbivores (deer, sheep, rabbits).

Read more...

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