5. What a cluster . . . Updated Apr 2021

This is almost certainly going to be the easiest and least hazardous work we plan carrying out. Alongside activity 4, in the middle of the flooded woods, there is a cluster of self-seeded . . . yes, you guessed it . . . goat willows.

BBC again agreed that in due course these trees would develop the same growth issues as exhibited by almost every other willow at Stackmoor, and in and of themselves added no real value to the woodland ecology. So by removing them we would simply be opening up the land in that area to more pleasing or appropriate ecological redevelopment…

I think it likely that there will only be one update to this blog. . . Now you see them . . . now you don’t...


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This was one the boys and I worked on over a couple of visits, once the earlier flooding had receded to below the tops of our wellingtons. But by the end of our second try, after clearing over a dozen 8-24ft saplings, we still had four or five left that were subbornly rooted and refused to be just pulled or twisted out.

I planned to dig them out this evening, after work, but my garden fork wasn't up to the task. So I got my trusty bush saw out (which had been so effective at reducing that big goat willow to a pile of sticks) and reached down into the loose muck and sawed away at the roots. Later on I will dig out the roots properly, perhaps in preparation for creating a permanent pond feature in these woods...