16 March 2012

Signs of Spring & a shed load of work

Snowdrops at Wray Castle

After a very warm and wet winter spring is definitely not too far away now. 

There are one or two early woodland flowers cheering the place up and the promise of more on the way.  When I walk through the woods here it's almost impossible not to notice the smell of wild garlic.Primroses have begun flowering, bluebells and cuckoo pint are showing through so it promises to be a colourful spring in South Lakes woodland.

The birds are singing loudly now with males smartening themselves up for the breeding season, I have started hearing green woodpeckers 'yaffling' in the woods and greater spotted woodpeckers drumming on dead trees.

Some of the fields already have lambs in them but most of the fell sheep will lamb in April and early May.
Ewes and lambs at Low Cunsey
After spending a good deal of the winter coppicing along the lakeshore bridleway by Windermere we now have a large stack of timber in the yard.  We have borrowed a firewood processor from Sizergh Castle and we are making headway into the stack.

Craig hard at it feeding the processor
Burning wood may not appear to be very eco-friendly, but only the carbon dioxide absorbed when the tree grows is released when logs are burnt so we are not adding to greenhouse gasses,  the timber comes from sustainable woodland management of the Trusts woods - wood does grow on trees after all! Timber felled in the winter needs time to season, so we have been cutting and splitting it and loading the wood into a drying shed which will keep the weather off and allow air to circulate which speeds up seasoning.  By this winter we should have a shed load (literally!) of seasoned logs.

A shed load of logs!

By Richard Tanner - Ranger (Woodlands)