Please see our photo gallery above for some of our January/February highlights
In order of display:
Long-tailed Tit on feeder
A snow dusted track on Main Ride
Willow Tit on feeder
Logging up yet more firewood
Winter sunlight filtering through Lime Ride
Logs waiting to be chopped up into firewood
Close-up of our grand Holly tree branches
Tending to tree saplings inside their protective guards
Landscape view of Woodruff Wood
Woodruff Wood Work
Workwise, last month proved to be fairly routine, going about the day to day tasks which are part and parcel of ticking over. Firewood deliveries continued at a pace with a seemingly never-ending job of loading up bulk bags of logs. We’ve also spent a lot of time sawing and splitting seasoned lengths of logs into sizes suitable to fit into wood-burning stoves in order to keep our firewood supplies topped up.
We did however, find time to check the Holly and Wych Elm saplings which were planted last winter. Most are growing at quite a slow rate which we think is due to the soil conditions (heavy clay) although a handful has more than doubled in size. The tree guards protecting the saplings were cleared of vegetation including bramble which was growing inside them. This vegetation could potentially smother the young trees hindering growth.
This month we are looking forward to resuming woodland management work now that the days are drawing out and it being noticeably lighter in the evenings. We have a long list of jobs waiting to be done!
Our Fat Ball Feeder
Our fat ball feeder is getting plenty of use at present as bird food is in short supply at this time of year. In particular the tit species love to flit on and off taking it in turns to peck away at this high energy food source. Great Tits and Blue Tits are regular visitors along with a pair of rare Willow Tits. Occasionally, a gang of noisy Long-tailed Tits arrive to raid the feeder en masse, chattering away to each other.
Not to be denied of food, a hungry Pheasant often waits underneath the hanging feeder to peck at any crumbs which fall to the ground whilst the Robins also nip in to take any dropped titbits. All of these birds harmoniously take turns in sharing the fat balls which is a delight to see.
However, one bird which we’ve had to deny access to is the greedy Crow. We used to hang a standard fat ball feeder up which had large gaps allowing birds with all different sizes of bills to reach the food. We quickly found though, that the feeder was being completely emptied every day and the culprit was the Crow. His persistence in attacking the feeder made it impossible for any other birds to access the food. A plan B was required and so we switched to loading up the fat balls inside a peanut feeder. The smaller mesh size now prevents the Crow from pecking through the gaps but still allows the smaller birds to reach in.
Although it is still winter, the birds are starting to sing which certainly helps to lift our mood! You really can’t beat listening to the bird song which always seems to be more pronounced on milder days. In Woodruff Wood, it is the resident UK species which kick things off including Song Thrushes, Collared Doves, Robins and Great Tits. Listen out for the birds singing in your garden too – it’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face!
Winter in the Wood
As mentioned above, it is still winter and this year the weather has been very mixed – often cold with occasional touches of frost and a tiny smattering of snow. Many days have been dull but the sun has shone from time to time. There’s a real atmosphere in the wood which changes depending on whether it’s damp and dismal or whether the sunlight is filtering through the trees to the ground below.
It’s a great time of year to wander around and note the form and structure of trees including bark patterns and the shape of branches. If frost is present, ice crystals add a further dimension to the ground vegetation and fallen leaves.
We’ll round off this month’s Woodruff Wood News with a selection of winter images. We hope you can sense the atmosphere and appreciate the structure and beauty to be found in nature. As always, please enjoy!
Woodruff Wood,Longhirst, Morpeth, Northumberland
'Passionate about wildlife & firewood'
T: 07525 841361 (9am - 8pm)
Please feel free to contact us today for further information!
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European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
'Increasing Productivity of Woodruff Wood Woodfuel (Firewood)'
Woodruff Wood is grateful to have received funding for equipment and infrastructure to support us in the production of firewood