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Holly - a really useful tree

Holly – a really useful tree

by Chris ~ 8 December, 2011 ~ one comment

In various older texts on botany and gardening, it is said that ' … in Germany, Holly abounds in many forests… In France, it is abundant, more particularly in Brittany.  The tree appears to attain a larger size in England than in other parts of Europe"  Certainly, in the past there were large areas where Holly was abundant. For example, Needwood Forest in Staffordshire. This was a significant and ancient Midlands forest. However, the Enclosure Act of 1803 allowed for the felling of large numbers of trees; this took some time to complete.  In his ‘Plant Book’, Professor David Mabberley notes that some 150,000 holly trees were taken from Needwood about this time, to provide bobbins for the cotton mills of Lancashire.  (Bagot’s Wood is said to be the largest existing piece of this ancient wood). Read more...

woodland shed

What do woodland owners do about sheds for storage ?

by Angus ~ 19 May, 2011 ~ 47 comments

Some people who manage their own woodlands feel it would be easier if they had a shed or building to store things and to shelter when it rains. In principle, local authorities are positive about this as they want to see woodlands managed but in practice planning officers often fear that sheds are the thin end of a wedge that will end up with a residential development which doesn't fit within the local development plan. Read more...

Holly, predicting the weather ?

Holly, predicting the weather ?

by Chris ~ 21 December, 2010 ~ 5 comments

Back in November, a number of papers reported that our holly trees were full with their bright red berries, and that according to folklore this was a sign that a hard winter was to come.

There is no clear logic to this, as it is the Spring weather that determines whether there are insects around for the flowers to be pollinated, plus sun and warmth in early autumn to help the berries to ripen.  The berries are particularly plump and abundant this year.  The last ‘good berry’ year was last year (2009) and the winter that followed was the coldest for some 30 years.  Already, we are experiencing cold and severe weather conditions so perhaps the berries are ‘right' again. Read more...

Sheds in Woodlands

Sheds in Woodlands

by Angus ~ 29 August, 2008 ~ 23 comments

We did a survey on sheds for storage amongst woodland owners and although the sample is small, the results were nevertheless interesting .   We had responses for 27 woods; 14 had no shed and 13 woods already had a shed in use. The woods were mostly between 5 and 14 acres in area.

The prime use for a shed is storage. All of the respondents quoted forestry tools and materials; all but three quoted camping kit, tables, chairs, kettles, Read more...

Weather effects and woodlands

Weather effects and woodlands

by julian ~ 29 August, 2007 ~ 3 comments

This favourite of all small-talk topics merits attention after the hot April and subsequent very wet months of May, June and July. But I am not going to mention climate change as threatening, indeed potentially catastrophic, as this phenomenon is to all of us and our futures. The weather, particularly very wet weather, affects work in woods and their care and management for the small owner as much as for the large forest estate. Read more...

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

by Chris ~ 23 August, 2006 ~ one comment

It will not be long before the signs of autumn are apparent to all of us, especially after such a hot and dry summer. Once again the BBC, the Woodland Trust and the UK Phenology Network are inviting people to help chart the advance of autumn – by recording 6 key species – blackberry, hawthorn, swifts, conkers, ivy and oak.

The collated information will help the UK Phenology Network build up a picture of Read more...

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