If you've walked along the Hollow ways or around the old quarries you might have noticed these ferns growing on the side.
Saturday, 11 February 2017
Yesyerday we loaded up the Landrover with the tools needed for the day and then drove down to Ballstone quarry and Ippikin's meadow to feed and count the sheep. Our hebridean sheep are part of the RSPCA freedom foods scheme which means they have the highest standard of welfare. We check on them every day and as it is particularly cold at the moment we give them some sheep nuts, which they love!
|As soon as the sheep hear us calling and see the bucket they come running over|
Our sheep never enter the foodchain, they are purely used for conservation grazing and therefore get to live out their whole lives happily grazing our meadows for us.
We then headed to Wilderhope to remove the lower branches on a Yew tree in the grounds of the manor. This was to enable the tenant farmer to graze cows underneath where it had become overgrown. Yew trees are poisonous to livestock so it had to be trimmed so that they couldn't reach it.
But before we could start we had to do a quick litter pick underneath. After filling a few bags worth of recyclables and litter it was time to select the branches to be removed. By using a harness for safety, the branches were cut one by one until they could no longer be reached from below.
|Placement student Emily feeding the sheep at Ippikin's meadow|
|Left: From far away it looks like one tree, but it is actually two very large old trees close together|
Middle: The view of the tree from the manor patio
Right: The litter underneath the tree
|The stone wall provides a good step to reach slightly higher into the canopy.|
Monday, 6 February 2017
At the moment we are following up some of the actions identified in our tree safety reports. Every two years we formally inspect all the trees to look for signs that they may be ‘hazardous’. It is carried out in late autumn so that leaves and the crown can give away clues and so fruiting bodies of fungus are showing.
The sort of signs which we look for are; yellowed leaves, a sparse crown, lack of fine branch ends (twigs), excessive dead branches, peeling or split bark, fungal fruits, exudes weeping from the bark, splits or tears in the wood, pockets of decay or roots pulling from the ground. Other signs include mammal damage, badly balanced, tightly forked, excessive road salt, soil compaction or soil erosion around roots and impeded rooting due to wet ground or rock. As we informally survey and act day to day, not too much remedial action (felling, reduction or pruning) is required from the survey.