28th January 2020
When I purchased the land in July 2019, we were seeing the site (what we could see through the weeds, anyway) at its peak. It has been interesting, therefore, to observe how the plants and trees regressed into their ‘dormant’ state, while also noting the emergence of new grown in the later autumn.
Some of the new growth was from the nettles (I don’t classify these as weeds, as I’ll explain in a later blog) that had been cut down in the summer. However, and more interestingly to us, was the appearance of the many and varied fungi.
At this point, if you haven’t already done so, please visit our Flora page where we have posted images of just some of the different species of fungi we have narrowly avoided trampling on. Many are still proving hard to identify, despite numerous Google searches and wading through a brick-thick encyclopaedia of fungi.
Unless you look closely, January and February seem to be a quiet time as far as growth is concerned. However, while squelching around Stackmoor we have noticed some subtle, and maybe noteworthy changes during this time.
While transporting some materials between the flooded woods and the hawthorn copse by the track, we noticed that one of the big willows has already started coming into bud. Received wisdom is that it's normally March and April when trees start to come out of their dormant phase, so maybe this early growth is due to the mild winter we have been enjoying (so far). We also spotted what we think our first daffodils coming through in the hawthorn copse.
Elsewhere, the young oaks and birches are still very much in hibernation, clearly not in a hurry to restart. Not surprising given that the last oak leaves only fell in mid-December.
In the meantime, we have been preparing for some new planting. The winter sales were kind to us, and I was able to pick up several fruiting and ornamental trees, and a few dozen hedging plants with which to start the first phase of our rejuvenation plans. In time, these plants will be joined by hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel and various wild rose varieties, to create a new, managed hedgerow along our boundaries.