Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Storm!

Monday 10th March 2008. Well, it was the most severe storm of the winter today and I was very eager to pay the wood a 2 hour visit at the end of the day. I was a little concerned with the hides, storage shed and owl boxes as yet untested by high winds. In fact, I needn't have worried, all hides are still standing, untouched and undamaged, even the little remote hide. All the owl boxes are still up.
There was some tree damage, however, with some large hornbeam limbs snapped off, which must have made a hell of a noise. This has, however, merely created some natural clearings which will merely allow more light down to the woodland floor and encourage more ground flora. It has also given me some good fire wood! Just off my patch a very large ash has completely snapped off at the trunk very dramatically which has crashed down and shattered a hornbeam beneath it.
Water levels throughout the wood are very high with the drainage stream down the east side running very fast and filling one of the ponds very nicely. The main stream, however, is running about a metre deeper than normal which sadly means that the lovely little bridge that I lovingly put in about 3 weeks ago has just floated away! As I carried out the work, I did wonder if the water would get that high and considered staking it into the banks. Well, I suppose I now have my answer so have to re-do the work. Thankfully, I found the railway sleeper a little way downstream so just dragged it to higher ground.
Well, although I was worried, I should remember that this woodland has stood here more or less for over 500 years and it has weathered storms a lot worse than this and will hopefully weather a lot more. Any damage just creates different niches for other species to take advantage of and in general just increases the diversity of the overall woodland structure.

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