Mid-summer and the trees are doing very well. It’s surprising to see so many having reached the top of their tubes in less than 4 months - testimony to the skills of the planting team!

We’re still waiting for the Forestry Commission to come and make their inspection. Hopefully any time now.

Under our woodland contract we receive an annual payment of £800 to cover the cost of weeding and beating up (replacing dead trees). If we can, we want to do this work ourselves and save the grant for village funds.

For us, the biggest threat is bracken which can kill the seedling by starving it of light. Prevention involved simply trampling down the bracken within 2 or 3 feet of the tube. The challenge can be finding the tube as the bracken, in places, is taller than the tubes. Quite often you won’t see the tube until you are standing right next to it.

Examples of “before” and “after” are shown below.

Bracken

Bracken

Bracken removed

Bracken removed

The only risk to seedlings not in bracken is where grass grows up inside the tube and chokes the seedling. There are not many like this, but if you see one, slacken the ties (it’s like taking off a belt), raise the tube a few inches and tease out the grass. See the example below.

Grass in tubes

Grass in tubes

Grass cleared

Grass cleared

If you enjoy hunt the thimble, you will enjoy hunting down the tubes!

The area above Kipp House and the one in the top field below Hog House Hill are most in need of attention.

Why not grab a friend, walk up this weekend and rescue a seedling.

If anyone clears a significant area, let us know.