Work started this week on the preparation of planting sites for the native woodland. A contractor with a digger will be on the land throughout this week creating planting mounds - basically small heaps of inverted turf into which we will, in March, plant the tree seedlings. The mounds provide an area of tilth in which the tree roots can establish, as well as suppressing the grass which might otherwise overwhelm the seedlings. The mounds will be left to settle over the winter.

The 4,600 tree seedlings along with wooden stakes and protective tubes will arrive at the beginning of March. We will give advance notice for all those who would like to come and help plant the trees. It’s a big job, so all volunteers will be welcome.

Also this week, if time permits, we will start work on some of the wetland scrapes - the digger will strip the topsoil in some of the wetter hollows to create area where shallow water can form. Once established, these areas will provide ideal habitat for frogs, toads, and newts, as well as many species of dragonfly, damselfly and other water-borne insects. Waders such as snipe and redshank will use the scrapes as feeding stations.

We are thrilled to finally be making progress on the Kippford Community Nature Reserve.