Wildlife in the banks

I found a few lovely specimens of plant-life nestled in the banks of our hedgerows and borders on the May bank holiday!!! Any help identifying the unnamed hoots would be greatly appreciated!! I appear to have left the book on my newly made shelving unit in the hovel!!!

20140506-202305.jpg
Borage?

20140506-202322.jpg
Bluebells

20140506-202400.jpg

20140506-202430.jpg
Red campion?

20140506-202505.jpg
More bluebells and…..

20140506-202534.jpg
Oo and bonus point for naming the fungus!

The Woodland

The best place currently to get into the woodland is the top corner of Big Field.  As we went into the woodland the floor was a carpet of Wood Anemones and Celandine.

???????????????????????????????

It was beautiful.  We also found a few RedCampion flowers.

???????????????????????????????

To the left on entering the woodland the fencing/boundary needs to be sorted as it looks like our neighbours’ stock is travelling into our woodlands and potentially eating our bluebells.

Dad and James ventured the furthest down into the woodland.

??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

We found clearly stepped areas which would have been previously used by the coppice workers to access the lower areas of the woodland to work on the trees and coppice stools.  The stepped areas are visible across the whole woodland, with areas where they need to be reintated and shored up along the way!  There are a lot of hazel coppice stools along the topmost fringes of the woodland.

???????????????????????????????

And lots of Old Oak trees through the woodland.  We came across one that had ferns growing along its branches right the way to the top!

??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

There is a lot of moss covering the trees in the woodland and Mum said that we would never have to worry about buying hanging basket liners again.  Not sure if that is ever something I would worry about.  We also noted that we have quite a bit of overstood coppice and some dead branches that would need to be sorted in the most part to support the woodland’s regeneration.

We all eventually came back up to the top path and meandered along it.  The woodland has a lot of hazel, oak and sycamore.  in the middle section of the woodland under Big Field there are two felled oaks, probably as a result of the winter storms this year.  It looks like the one Oak’s heartwood has rotted and it snapped off taking the lower oak out with it!  I shall need to get those out and planked or logged up and into the barn!

??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

James looks like the cat that has got the cream in his photo!!  Look at all the lovely slate the oak’s roots have pulled out!  I wonder how hard it will be to extract a few bits!!!  It would be very useful for paths, stone walling etc, but some big chunks won’t bit easy to get out at all!

Walking further along the top path we came across a badger sett!

??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

James went down onto the next level of the woodland step and found another large entrance hole too!  We saw more early evidence of bluebells too, but also some more evidence of our neighbours wooly friends hopping into the woodland and eating them!  Venturing further along we found an old oven and some bags of rubbish dumped.  These will need clearing in the fullness of time, probably when we have a skip on site.  We found the remnants of a blackbird egg.

???????????????????????????????

We then left the woodland… not through the bottom corner of Big field as the briars have taken over, but through what seemed to be the badger latrine under a load of blackthorn!

 

 

Tentative First Steps!

We arrived at the Smallholding/Farm (I shall be using these terms probably fairly interchangeably!) to collect the keys and complete a few bits and pieces with the previous Owner.  We were introduced to the workings of the oil fired Rayburn…

IMG_1297

We were also shown how to precariously dip the oil tank to check levels, thankfully there seems to be enough in there for some time, especially given that we won’t be there all the time!

We read the electric meter and that was it…. No water meter as the property is spring fed…. no gas…. Just the electric and then the previous owner was making arrangements to collect some of her larger furnishings she did not want to move twice and that was it…. the farm was ours!!

That weekend we also met our tenants….

IMG_1284

Two of our barns are rented out currently to a local farmer who needs the extra space during lambing season in his sheds, so moves his cattle into ours!

We then had a wander about the property with James’ mum and Sookie, his dad stayed behind with Polly for a snooze on the sofa in the Hovel!

And found some tracks…. deer??? or some of our other tenants wandering out of their field…. The other tenants are a few sheep and their lambs in the fields….