#The Kipp

The lengthening days and warming sunshine are bringing a burst of life to the nature reserve.

The alder, with its vibrant blue buds, and the impatient wild cherry are leading the way in the native woodlands.

One year ago today we officially started tree planting in the Kippford Community Nature Reserve. Since then we've planted 4,600+ trees; created three water scrapes, and a pond; laid our first paths in a 6 acres section; installed 8 benches.

This week we erected the “Kippford Community Nature Reserve” sign at the lower entrance. The sign is made from heavy duty oak and should, we hope, last many years. We are also erecting a small A3 sign acknowledging all those who contributed to the purchase of the land as well as the sponsors who helped fund the work we have been doing over the past year or so.

For those of you who have not been following progress on the nature reserve, we thought a resume of the year’s work might be of interest:

In association with the D&G Metal Detectorists Group we are delighted to open the Kippford Community Nature Reserve for a special one day event.

The first trees arrived on Tuesday. These are the larger, pot-grown specimens, 42 in total. We made a good start on Wednesday and Thursday, and have only 15 more to plant tomorrow (Friday). Many thanks to the volunteers who were able to come along this week.

We are making good progress preparing the planting sites ready for the arrival of the trees, but there is still lots to do.

The completion of the paths has made it much easier to visualise suitable planting areas for the ornamental birch trees. In fact, if you have walked the paths over the past week or so, you will have seen tree stakes “sprouting up” across the landscape as we work out what goes where.

For those of you who have yet to check out what we’ve been doing in the bottom field of the nature reserve, here’s a bird’s eye view.

It’s been a 5 month wait, but finally the Forestry Commission has approved our native woodland planting and confirmed that the grant payment will be in our bank account by the end of this month. By doing the planting ourselves we have minimised the costs and will have a few hundred pounds surplus to add to the community funds. Many thanks to everyone who volunteered.

The full lengths of the 1.8m and 1.2m paths have been excavated and laid with sub-base. Several culverts have been dug to direct the run-off of surface water and have been severely tested during the downpours of the past few days.

Work is pushing on with the first paths in the Kippford Community Nature Reserve.

Recent rain has made working conditions a little more difficult, but Dempster’s are still making very good progress.

The tray (trench) for the 1.8m path has been fully excavated and the sub-base material should be finished in the next couple of days. There are then 6 culverts to be installed.

Work on the footpaths commenced this morning.

The team from Dempster Plant Ltd arrived at 7.30 am and were soon cutting the route of the path out into the lower field. The project will take a few weeks to complete, during which time you are likely to see deliveries of hardcore and timber arriving at the lower gate.

We will post some photos as soon as the first section of path is laid.

We are continuing to refine the plans for the arboretum. The latest list of birch (betula) species is given below. For those interested, you can see what they look like on Google Images.

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!

After an extensive consultation, and tendering process, we have appointed a contractor to construct the initial pathways within the Kippford Community Nature Reserve.

This is the initial proposal for the arboretum. It will be revised in light of feedback we receive from the Kippford groups and advice we receive from the various plant and landscaping experts we consult.

Bluebells

24 Apr 2019

If you go down to the woods today.... Hog House Hill has a stunning display of spring bluebells carpeting the floor

Sowing the seeds

23 Apr 2019

Following the survey of the Nature Reserve, instigated by Val Bradbury conducted by David Hawker( Botanical Recorder for Kirkcudbrightshire), David advised on the ideal mix of wild flower seeds for our reserve.

Life in a tube

30 Mar 2019

You will recall we've planted 4,600 trees in our Kippford Community Nature Reserve. However, it actually looks like we have planted 4,600 plastic tubes. These are to protect the saplings in the first few years of life -- mostly from the deer.