Early April 2005

Spring is definitely springing! The birds are singing even more than usual, many of the small trees and shrubs are showing their green leaves, primroses are flowering.

In early January Sybil planted 12 special Oaks around the glade in Big Field. Stany, Heather and Tim have helped to plant loads of snowdrops and bluebell seedlings, making the most of the ground while it is in good condition and not covered by grass yet. I have sourced some local native Black Poplars, have taken cuttings and now there are 23 around Gimswood. I hope to have both male and female varieties, but the catkins on the source trees are not yet showing to be able to identify them definitely. I have spares in pots in the hope that something will survive.

The ponds are now at a good level, having been drained over a rather dry winter. There is some vegetation in Corner Pond that arrived spontaneously and Steven was excited over that because it is not seen very often. The young Great Crested Newt found in one of the stone habitat piles has woken out of hibernation and gone on its way. We found an egg on floating grass in Reed Pond, and wondered whether it was from a Great Crested Newt. I would be so pleased if they were breeding here.

The Muntjac deer has been round again. There are hoofprints at Corner Pond where it goes to drink and there is damage to some of the smaller trees in Oat Field. The damage is not too drastic, so it is a case of live and let live, all part of Nature etc etc.