The Lessons of the Monarch

by Lin Hawthorne in Birds, Fauna (Animals), Flora (Plants), Insects, Mammals, Trees 2

in 2002/3 i worked on an innovative reference book entitled Plant, led by Janet Marinelli, then of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and botanic gardens throughout the world. Its basic premise was that gardeners might help conserve plants that were threatened with extinction in the wild by conserving them in cultivation, thereby reserving the possibility of future recovery projects.  Although positive in tone, among the book’s clear themes were the sadly recurrent ones of changes in land use, habitat loss and fragmentation as universal threats to biodiversity and frequent causes of species’ extinction. Plant and its lessons were foremost in my mind when we began to develop Three Hagges Wood. The […]

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Preaching to the choir …

by Lin Hawthorne in Birds, Community, Education, Fauna (Animals), Flora (Plants), Grasses, Insects, Mammals, Management, Trees, Wildflowers 2

  in the early planning stages at Three Hagges Jubilee Wood in 2012, our prime concern was simply to avoid creating yet another plantation with a ground flora of nettles and brambles.  Two years down the line, this now seems achievable given careful planning and management.  Our initial costings indicate that it may be just possible within the existing Forestry Commission grant framework for new community woodlands, though we mustn’t overlook the cushion provided by a supportive landlord in Charlie Forbes Adam, the owner of Escrick Park Estate.  Not least of which is a 35-year lease at a peppercorn rent, with permissive access dawn-to-dusk year round. though our initial objectives are worthy, in the light of […]

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Everything is Connected

by Lin Hawthorne in Birds, Fauna (Animals), Flora (Plants), Insects, Trees, Wildflowers 0

  it has been on my mind for some time now, to try to draw attention to the extraordinary benefits to wildlife of creating a whole ecosystem as opposed to merely planting trees. In the fullness of time, we intend to create a resource that lays out the specific benefits of every species that we have planted at Three Hagges Wood.  I do know that all the plants we have chosen will be good for something: as a nectar source; a larval food source, a berry bearing food source, a place to rear young or simply a hotel. Of course, the logical way to do this is in ABC order, but every time I start, I get side-tracked into […]

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Drinks in the Meadow Anyone?

by Lin Hawthorne in Birds, Community Events, Fauna (Animals), Flora (Plants), Grasses, Insects, Management, Meadows, Weed control, Wildflowers 0

  for months, we have been looking obsessively for noxious weeds and worrying whether any disastrous thing would happen to the meadow before it managed to flower, reassuring each other continuously that it would be alright on the night.  Despite having in my mind’s eye a hopeful and pretty picture of our meadow’s first year, I wasn’t fully prepared for the truly joyous spectacle of our meadow in full bloom.  It really has surpassed anything I could have imagined, and now we are breathless for all the best reasons. And a big part of this has been due to our guests’ reactions when we took Drinks in the Meadow on the 15th of August.  We have been […]

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Attacking the Nettles

by Lin Hawthorne in Birds, Flora (Plants), Grasses, Insects, Mammals, Trees, Weed control, Wildflowers 0

  some major threads of thought on the development of Three Hagges Wood have emerged during our dormant winter months. The first was prompted by a constructively critical review of the last blog, The Burden of Weeds, which included comments regarding the wildlife value of nettles, thistles and brambles. The second was provoked by an excellent Radio 4 programme on 12th February 2013, Costing the Earth, with Tom Heap, entitled When Nettles Attack.  It examined the increasing problem that native invasives present to biodiversity and drew on the work of, amongst others, Dr Lindsay Maskell at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. They include, of course, the usual suspects: nettles, thistles and brambles, the big three. Something of a dichotomy […]

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Wood and Glade

by Lin Hawthorne in Birds, Fauna (Animals), Flora (Plants), Mammals, Trees, Wildflowers 0

The creation of a wood on arable land with a crop of barley feels like a tall order.  There is such an overwhelming plethora of information and instruction on how this should be done, much of which has the clang of dogma, and little of which can be treated as universally applicable.  The requirements are likely to differ according to the aim of planting: timber production or amenity, production and amenity, or production, amenity and biodiversity, or any combination thereof. Winnowing the wheat from the chaff is our first task. Planting of a random mixture of all the available species is not the route to follow.  The starting point for a native woodland is obviously the choice of species, but […]

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