Only yesterday I was telling you about an area of forest getting replanted after years of being lain waste. This area is owned by a local farmer who planted Sitka Spruce when he was 22 years and last year he saw this Spruce stand harvested ... 45 years later. The machine that did the work was just amazing to watch. Each living tree was cut, turned on it's side, stripped of branches and bark and cut into lengths all within a single minute! Then his co-worker took the poles away and stacked them by the main road for huge transporters to take them away. It all took just a few days to clear it, leaving behind the brashings (branches, twigs etc) to die down and for the sun to get into the soil. In the time I've been away, they have gathered the brashings into lines of windbreaks and as I discovered today, replanted hundreds of tiny young trees.The son, in his thirties now has worked hard but will be 70+ by the time he reaps the rewards of the effort of father and son. But what has been left behind will slowly return to the earth, though some of it attracts a wood loving collie ... who likes to play with the bigger chunks left behind ...
summer evenings when the Sitka pines gave cooling shade and the cool flowing water under this old wooden bridge gave the hot dog a drink. Now as you can see, the whole area is responding to the light and is greening where for years there was a thick brown carpet of pine needles.
Unlike the saplings in the Commission forest (only a few miles away and therefore getting the same weather) these have been planted in moist hollows with the protection of the piled brashings and are thriving. Yet oddly enough it was the Forestry Commission that dictated how these young trees all the way from America, had to be planted. It seems a bit a bit of a contradiction in forestry management put into practice!
These young trees will grow tall and strong and the needles when infused in wine vinegar make a lovely salad dressing, though not to everyone's taste as it is quite a strong flavour.
Meanwhile father and son are busy not just with lambing time, which is nearly over for all our local farmers but also with calving. Like lambs calves are inquisitive and eager to sniff at the photographer on the other side of the wall ...
whilst their mams looked on
and the father of them all was gently nuzzling up to a cow, seemingly without a calf
He's a fine looking feller and so are his progeny, when they'e not making faces at me!