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The woodland

in 1998 I planted 350 trees on my land. The Woodland trust supplied native broadleaf trees which included Oak, Ash, Field Maple, Hornbeam, Hawthorn, Hazel, Apple, Cherry and Rowan and I added White Poplar. The only evergreen was the holly.

I consider this to be the single most important thing I have done in my life. It has been wonderful evolving with the trees and learning more about nature by observing and photographing. We now know a lot more about trees and the way they communicate within the 'wood wide web' and I write about this.

The saplings are 3 years old, they were tiny twigs inside the protective sleeves and I rejoiced when they finally appeared above the sleeves which had protected them from being nibbled by deer. If the bark gets nibbled all the way round they will be ‘ring barked' and die.

10 years ago I had to thin the trees. It was very sad to see them felled but we made habitats with the piled up logs and branches and at least we were able to start breaking up the straight lines a bit.
It had started to feel a bit like a real woodland.

So now they have matured and the trunks are thickening. Some I can only just get my arms around. But some have struggled to reach the crowded canopy for light and the time has come to do some more thinning out...

But this time I would like to give the trees a chance to be in service in a different way as I continue my quest to connect people to plants. Watch this space for news of the project.

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