4. Open skies - Updated Mar 2021

Dec 2020

One of the very first things we noticed when walking through the woods (July 2019) was that it was almost completely covered in shade. There was very little in the way of normal ground vegetation in much of the centre, apart from dozens (and nearer the Danish Camp access road, 100’s) of self-seeded goat willow saplings.

. . . BTW, anyone who wants a goat willow please contact me and I’ll be happy for anyone to transplant as many as you like for your own purposes…


But back to the point. . . We wondered what it would be like if we could remove some of this canopy cover and allow some unfiltered sunlight into the area. Well, for one thing, perhaps more of the irises (just about the only other thing, apart from goat willows, that thrive in the woods) would actually produce flowers.


. . . The day before Dawn died I was photographing one of the few flowering irises, for her to paint…


Hence, activity 4 of the planning application is to remove five (? . . . I should check) goat willows. As mentioned previously in another blog post, these trees all share the same characteristics of other failed and failing/falling trees, so this is seen by BBC as legitimate tree management.


Incidentally, the removal of these trees, and a separate investigation into the water table level and whether this is the significant factor in the Stackmoor flooding (as I’m coming to suspect) rather than just poor drainage (despite Stackmoor being flooded while the Ouse is often clearly 6+ feet lower only 200 yards away) are also important factors in another potential environmental development project. . . But more on that later next year.


To be continued…


As at 21st March.

Just a quick update on the state of the woods in this area. The frequent, persistent rain that we've had for much of this year has inevitably lead to increased flooding.

At the end of last year it was still possible to wade through the middle of the woods in normal wellington boots. Now I need fisherman's waders. I'll not share the image I have as it might frighten young children. . . Mind you, if parents want to tell stories of the 'wild man of the swamp' to stop them playing in streams and rivers, consider this a contribution to public safety awareness...

[I blame lockdown for turning my hair an unflattering shade(s) of grey, while somehow also increasing the amount of forehead I posess in photos... I'm turning into flippin' Mick Miller!]


I don't think we will be starting work on these trees until May or June, at this rate...