We have have just been awarded the highest level of achievement by the Royal Horticultural Society under the “It’s Your Neighbourhood” scheme. In marking us “Outstanding”, the RHS assessor commented “The woodland has potential to be used for a wide range of activities and become a major asset to the village and surrounding area”.
We’re chuffed to bits!
Thanks to Vinny Ganley, Grow Wild England Partnership Manager for taking the time to visit our village woods, all the way from his base at Kew Gardens.
The Grow Wild project aims to encourage the planting of UK native wild flowers and has provided us with funding to develop an area within the woods as a wildflower meadow.
It was a lovely, sunny evening and the woods are looking great at the moment, providing lots of opportunities for photos.
This afternoon’s job was continuing to mulch the apple trees and checking over the new plantings. All the fruit trees now have a layer of mulch in place to reduce competition from the grass. The newly planted trees are looking good.
Couldn’t help noticing that spring is bursting out everywhere.
Marsh orchid shoot
New cones forming on larch
We have just been awarded funding from Grow Wild to create ‘Bearpark Colliery Meadow’ in this open space in the colliery woods. The plan is to open up the views by taking down the few scattered pine trees and sow meadow wild flower seeds.
The seed will come from a farm in Northumberland, where they have created flower-rich grasslands using seeds collected from nearby old hay meadows. They now harvest wild flower seed from these grasslands to use in conservation projects across the North East region.
So that there is somewhere to sit to enjoy the flowers, we plan to employ a local green wood craftsman to work with children from the primary school to make a rustic bench from locally-sourced green oak.
The best time to sow the seed is in the autumn, so this is when most of the work will take place.
More information about Grow Wild can be found on their website.
Thanks to all the enthusiastic helpers who turned out on a lovely sunny day, we got our 250 Big Tree Plant trees planted. We planted Aspen, Alder, Goat Willow, White Willow, Hazel and Downy Birch.
We’re all set for Sunday now. All we need now is a nice day and a few pairs of hands to get them planted.
On Sunday 16th March between 10:00am and 4:00 pm, we will be planting 250 native trees in the woods. The planting site will be signed from the gates at either end of Aldin Grange Terrace.
It’s likely to be muddy and very uneven underfoot and the weather, as ever, unpredictable so, if you’d like to join us, please come suitably dressed.
If you’re under 16, please bring an adult.
If the apple trees are going to get away this year, we need to use taller shelters to keep the roe deer from eating the new growth. Unfortunately they are a bit of an eyesore. We also planted a few more of the trees we grafted last year including Gala, Lord Derby, Brownlees Russet, Ashmeads Kernel, and Park Farm Pippin.
The deer have been nibbling our apple trees. We used 60cm shelters last winter but over the summer the deer have nibbled off much of the new growth in the trees.