I’ve always wanted a little bit of woodland as part of my garden. Living in tied accommodation however, means you get what you get and keep it tidy and maintained. It was nice when we moved to find that our new garden abutted an untidy, overgrown orchard; not ours but a nice compromise.
Encouraging the wildlife
Orange tip and Brimstone butterflies in the spring, Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and Peacock butterflies in the Summer, with the regular appearance of Speckled woods in their season. So I quickly acquired some small trees and planted the essential buddleja to encourage things across the boundary. Beetle traps soon gave up Violet Ground beetle and Devils Coach Horse, at the tree line, both keen devourers of slugs and snails and very welcome indeed. Lesser Stag beetles were also unsurprising considering the volume of rotten wood over the fence. That was probably where the field mice were living and, going by all the little hills, probably the source of the occasional mole invasion!
Restoring a wooded corner
Despite all the wildlife finding shelter amongst the neighbours trees and visiting us for a good feed and recharge from the woodland edge sunshine, it wasn’t mine and I couldn’t stroll through it along paths I had chosen to establish… Imagine my interest then when my local Pastor expressed an interest in restoring a little wooded corner. A plot of land purchased with the adjacent field. The field had been used by the Church kids to kick a ball about after morning services, but the wood had been neglected. Pastor James wondered what might happen if he let me loose with loppers, a spade and an African missionary affectionately known as Dave the power saw?
More on that next time…