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March feels like a sprint to the finish in our woodland, which despite this latest brief cold snap is starting to come to life. Everywhere you look, green shoots are appearing, and some of the trees have tiny buds coming out. The challenge for us is to finish felling all the trees we need before the sap starts to rise in earnest. We are coppicing the woodland – opening up some areas to let more light in and encourage growth on the stems that are left when trees are felled. Above you can see one that was probably cut 15 years ago, and how many stems have grown up from the cut stump. In some areas we have trees growing up against one another, and it is hard to see where they have been thinned, so taking another 30 or 40 out will hardly scratch the surface. At my current rate of 5  a day I’ll be lucky to get them all done.

We also have several events this month – a short morning course on veg growing for beginners, on 17th March (St. Patrick’s Day), then the following Friday 22nd and 23rd we are planting our 200 trees for the Million Trees in One Day event, (for which we have to prepare all the planting areas yet!), and then another growing course the following sunday 31st. The periods in between will be a frantic mix of tree felling, carting, cutting, splitting and stacking interspersed with clearing reeds and making soup for volunteers. And we thought winter would be a quiet time !

If you would like to come along to any of the above, just drop us a line using the contact form so that we have an idea of numbers, and if the weather is bad on the day – call ahead to make sure that it isn’t cancelled, especially as it seems to be snowing at the moment. Call on 028 40650273 to check.