Please see the photo gallery above for some of our November/December highlights
In order of display:
Holly leaves and berries
Silver Birch leaves
Reed Canary Grass - sparkling in the sun
Red Squirrel peeping at us!
An autumnal day down Lime Ride
Middle Ditch - now filled with water after recent rainfall
Silver Birch treetops
December Moth resting on a log
2017 draws to a close….
….and what a busy year it’s been. Workwise, ‘Mission Bash’ – our project to rid Woodruff Wood of its invasive rhododendron has been challenging, time consuming and hard work. However, it is something we will be able to look back on with pride and it is with excitement that we wait to see how the now large patches of bare ground will develop over future years.
In addition, we’ve also thinned Scot’s Pine Coupe and created a scalloped clearing off Main Ride. Both areas now have improved light levels which in theory should lead to more flowers and wildlife. Only time will tell whether this proves to be true but we are off to a good start as already more butterflies have been counted this year than in previous years. A notable increase in the numbers of speckled woods from 111 in 2015 to 271 in 2017 is surely a good indication that we are on the right track?
Winter begins to set in
As winter approaches, the weather predictably becomes more changeable, rain followed by sun and mild nights followed by hard frosts.
Although it may not seem it, we’ve had relatively little rain in recent months – so much so that the ditches have been dry for quite some time. However, we did finally experience a fairly hefty volume of rainwater towards the end of November and now the ditches are filled and the ground is back to being squelchy underfoot!
When the sun does shine though, what is often regarded as drab vegetation at this time of year can be wonderfully illuminated. In Woodruff Wood, the long grasses along the ride edges are a fine example of this as they sparkle in the winter sun. It reminds us a bit of how pebbles on the beach look so much prettier when wetted by the tide.
Although frosts have now set in, they are interspersed with the occasional milder night. We recently purchased a couple of rechargeable portable lights (which we can highly recommend) and we use these after dark whenever we are finishing off our day’s work. On mild nights moths are attracted to these lights, including the suitably named December moth of which half a dozen or so appear from the night sky to settle on logs next to the lights.
Our biggest highlight from last month has been an increase in red squirrel sightings. Though still not frequent, we have seen at least two different individuals moving through the tree tops on a number of occasions with skill and agility. They regularly pause in their travels to watch us and it seems as if they are getting used to our presence. As you can see from the photo, they now have their ear tufts – something which was missing when we last spotted one in late summer.
With Christmas now not long off, we thought it appropriate to wind up this edition of Woodruff Wood News with an image of one of our resident robins. Although it’s not got a classic wintry backdrop (as the wood is currently soggy not snowy), we hope you will appreciate the beautiful colours of the robin in his full glory – note the subtle grey feathers which enhance his fine red breast.
And that leaves us with just one last thing – we would like to wish all of our readers and customers
A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS!
All the best and many thanks for your support throughout 2017 – we really do appreciate it!
Woodruff Wood,Longhirst, Morpeth, Northumberland
'Passionate about wildlife & firewood'
T: 07525 841361 (9am - 6pm)
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