Since Christmas, like the rest of the south west, we have been suffering from the storms – we’re used to one or two a year, but it’s now becoming a bit tedious. Unfortunately we have lost several very important and ancient trees including one of the three avenue limes in front of Trelissick house which we think were planted in the late eighteenth century; several large old parkland oak trees at Pill farm and around the woodland walks; and two very large and impressive Scots pines on the south woodland walk, one of which blocked the path for a week.
The bottom of the park along the beach did not get through unscathed either. A combination of stormy weather and very high tides caused two sections of the sea wall to be destroyed and large amounts of seaweed were deposited at the bottom of the park. These are natural processes, but it is always unfortunate to see the huge amount of sea-borne litter which comes up and gets blown around the park. The outflow pipes onto the beach regularly get blocked, but the stormy weather combined with a huge amount of water that drains down through the park left a large winter lake and some very muddy paths.
The offshore storms have brought many over-wintering sea birds into the estuary including divers and grebes. Large flocks of curlew and oyster catcher have been searching for insects in the grassland in the private side of the park. They are sharing the park with our flock of sheep which suddenly decided this year to start bark-stripping many of our young lime trees. This can be a very serious problem, potentially killing twenty year old, established trees. We have wrapped the stems of all the limes with mesh, which has stopped the problem.
On a cheerier note the first signs of spring are emerging with snowdrops and the first few daffodils. It has been a very short felling season in the woodlands with primroses and bluebells rapidly emerging and song birds getting ready for the breeding season meaning that we will have to stop coppicing fairly soon.
Apologies for the lack of blog material, the wet weather has made me reluctant to take my camera out and this blog has fallen by the wayside for a while.
The wet and mild weather has been causing us a few problems with washed out paths and flooded fields, but our most significant loss happened during the storms just before Christmas with several large trees being blown down around the Trelissick estate, most noticeably one of the three avenue limes in front of Trelissick mansion. These were very early plantings in the park, possibly as early as the late eighteenth century, and it is always sad to lose such majestic veterans. Lime wood is particularly good for carving and we hope to utilise as much timber as possible, and what we don’t use will be left in situ to rot down in the park providing excellent habitat for many deadwood invertebrates.
We have started thinning and coppicing in the woodlands and are currently working in the valley below Namphillows. It is incredibly wet and very slippy, but we need to get on as the very mild weather means that we have a very short felling season this year and don’t have much time to get the work done to provide firewood and charcoal for next year. Much of the timber we are taking down is very badly squirrel damaged and we may need to do some control over the estate.
Some encouraging news from the Government with a potential Special Protection Area (SPA) designation for the Falmouth and St Austell bay area for overwintering sea birds including Slavonian Grebe, Great Northern Diver and Black Throated Diver. I only mention this as I happen to be out on the Carrick Roads in a gig on Sunday morning and for the first time in ages it was glassy calm meaning that you could see several rafts of grebes and a pair of divers, or loons as I prefer to call them.
Spring is just round the corner with snowdrops in flower and lots of bulbs starting to come through and primroses not in flower yet but with lots of lush new leaves.
Neil, Head Ranger
The recent spell of settled autumn weather has really brought out the colours of the trees in the parkland at Trelissick. Even after the wild, wet and blustery weather some of the leaves are still on, especially the oak trees.
There are still a few apples on the trees in the old orchard at Pill, but the pigs, sheep and pheasants have seen an end to most of the windfalls. Most of the fungi and mushrooms have now finished fruiting. Tawny owls have been very vocal at night and a beautiful female sparrowhawk has been seen regularly in the lane hunting pigeons and small birds.
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The Ranger team at Trelissick celebrated the turning of the year at the Autumn Equinox by creating a 25 foot wicker and bamboo sculpture. The wicker man was set out in the River Fal at low tide then left to … Continue reading
This gallery contains 3 photos.
Traditionally bark has been used to make various products including chair seats, shoes, canoes and containers. Since visting the Saami people of northern Norway I have been inspired to have a go at making some of these products, so thought we could start with containers.
So this last Saturday various visitors to Bodgers did some bark-working and as you can see from the pictures ended up with some great results.
Good work guys – bark accessorize!