Timeline

17 Jun 17

Restoring coppiced woodland update June 2017

Woodland Work Update Mid-June 2017. The longest day is already approaching and everything in the natural world is in full swing. There are lots of butterflies around, particularly red admirals, painted ladies, speckled woods and the next month will see more emerging, including the familiar ‘brown’ species and the orange ‘skippers’. A couple of weeks ago, an evening moth-catching session identified over 100 species of moths, including four pristine Lime Hawk Moths as well as some uncommon ones and less striking species associated with old woodland and heaths. We have just about cleared the storm damaged trees now but alongside the coppice-plot we decided to continue and fell some more pines after the wind-blown trees were made safe. That work will continue, as we widen the track and connect it with the main forestry road later on. This will make a wide & more sunny connecting habitat useful to insects, in particular, and birds. If you would like to be involved and join our volunteer team on Thursday mornings, do please get in touch. In the coppice plot itself the cut stumps already have new shoots up to a metre high on the hazel and sweet chestnuts. A lot of new tree seedlings are growing, mostly birch, ash and a few beech and chestnut. There are many hundreds of new seedling Violets, as well as St. John’s Wort, Figwort, Heath Speedwell and occasional Bluebells. Elsewhere, the smaller paths have been mowed and there are even a few new heather plants growing on bare soil patches here and there along the edges. We are always pleased to receive sightings of wildlife and especially grateful for copies of old photographs taken in these woods. Although we have good records of when trees were planted here going back two hundred years or more, few people can remember what this place looked like before it was felled only fifty years ago. Keith Zealand- Countryside Manager, National Trust .

2017

Restoring coppiced woodland update late August 2017

It’s been a rather changeable summer, weather-wise, but the spring was good and many butterflies were around earlier than usual. Most have had good, long flying seasons and many other insects have done really well, too. There are lots of medium-sized dragonflies around now, called Migrant Hawkers, which appear in the late summer and autumn most years. They look brown from a distance but are quite intricately coloured when you get close up to them. The good spring weather and plentiful insects have ensured lots of flowers have been pollinated and that means abundant nuts and fruits around the woods. Blackberries have been particularly good and hazel nuts and acorns already fill the branches. A few autumn fungi are also beginning to appear already. The felled trees from alongside the public footpath have now been cleared away and we are continuing with widening the track down to the first coppice plot. In a month or so’s time we should be starting to clear the next coppice plots- we want to do two plots this autumn, if possible. We hope to be moving away some of the timber stacks this autumn, to a new wood-fuel store to be built at nearby Sheringham Park shortly. The timber is then to be used to heat many of the visitor facilities and offices we used to heat with fossil fuels. If you would like to be involved and join our volunteer team on Thursday mornings, do please get in touch. There’s always plenty to do! We are always pleased to receive sightings of wildlife and especially grateful for copies of old photographs taken in these woods. Although we have good records of when trees were planted here going back two hundred years or more, few people can remember what this place looked like before it was felled only fifty years ago. Keith Zealand- Countryside Manager, National Trust (24 August 2017).

2017

Restoring coppiced woodland update October 2017

A distinctly autumnal appearance has descended on the woods now and there are loads of different kinds of fungi sprouting everywhere. Toadstools have sprung up all over, including some weird-looking eruptions from dead trees! Even so, there are still a few red admiral and comma butterflies about when the sun comes out but the woods now have lots of redwings and bramblings in them, winter-visiting birds for us in the UK. I wonder if we’ll get a cold one this year? Let’s enjoy the autumn colours and try not to think about it for now! We have nearly finished clearing the sides of main track, ready for lorries to come and move some of the timber stacks. We also plan to start in the next few weeks felling another plot of pine trees and will replant that area with deciduous types. While contractors are here we hope to remove the pines from the edges of some of the tracks. This will throw a lot more light onto the path edges and encourage low-growing plants favoured by insects and birds for feeding upon. There’s a map nearby, showing the approximate areas where the work will take place. If you would like to be involved and join our volunteer team on Thursday mornings, do please get in touch. There’s always plenty to do! We are pleased to receive sightings of wildlife and especially grateful for copies of old photographs taken in these woods. Although we have good records of when trees were planted here going back two hundred years or more, few people can remember what this place looked like before it was felled only fifty years ago. Keith Zealand- Countryside Manager, National Trust (23 October 2017)