Well at last the rain has stopped, we collected our tiny trees, from Tony at NI Farm Forestry, a mountain of cardboard from Toals furniture in Rathfriland, and after a couple of hours of fencing, set to planting the first block of trees. 0.2 hectare doesn’t sound a lot, but it looks a fair size when you’re covering it in cardboard.

We’ve probably planted a bit too tight, but will thin them as they grow on. Here I am with Marie-Josephine and Jean-Baptiste, about half way across the first block. We are planting a mix of primarily Birch and Alder, with some Rowan. Then we have a smaller number of Fir, Oak, Cherry, Hazel and Crab Apple. This first lot are just Birch, Alder and Fir. By the end of the week we should have planted and mulched 400 trees, with any luck.

An encouraging find was this chap (or chapess – my frog sexing is a bit rusty), and we hope to find many more before we are done. One feature of our planting scheme is an area of open bog and heather that will be surrounded by trees, and should provide ample habitat for our froggy friend.

The end of our first day, and a very satisfying sight indeed.

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