Awls and owls.

As our Saturday with volunteers had to be cancelled due to the weather forecast (which was correct if perhaps a tad understated) we had a few jobs to do this week.

We continued on with the planting of our new scrub with some willow and alder in the wet and damp bits. Some of this will protect a wall between the Cluster and Castle Farm, from flood water, as it gets damaged every few years.

We are trying a different technique for planting some willow ’setts/stobbs’ (c18” pieces of willow which are hammered into the ground leaving about 6” above ground to grow into new willows). As these are very prone to rabbit damage, we have used old tree shelters and tied them to the willow with biodegradable string, using the willow as a stake. Fingers crossed, the willow will grow and in a couple of years time we can remove the shelters and reuse them.

After doing the planting we went for a walk towards the Heggs end of the cluster. We noticed our first barn owl out hunting. We watched it for a while and as it drifted off we set off walking again well chuffed!

Unbelievably within a couple of minutes we saw another hunting. We could still see our ’first’ in the distance. I managed to grab a couple of ’record’ shots with my phone but will have to return with a camera in the near.

We enjoyed that walk.

(If you are wondering what the ’awl’ bit refers to in the blog title, well its what I used to make a hole through the tree shelters to thread the string through)

M

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