Preparations for spring

Rangers burning brash in cleared woodland at Ickworth Suffolk

As the days begin to get longer our outdoors teams are looking forward to the warmer days and getting started on all their jobs getting the gardens and parkland ready for spring.

Coppicing

Towards the end of February we did the last of the felling within our coppice block, removing a couple of large Oaks to be milled for the Wood Fair, and in the process letting more light onto the ground to allow the Hazel to reshoot. Several medium sized Oak trees have been left within the block as they will be good timber trees in the future and currently are not casting too much shade onto the ground.

Hard at work hauling logs
A tractor loading logs to be hauled away from ride clearing area at ickworth suffolk
Hard at work hauling logs

Ride Widening

A major part of our winter work has been widening a ride in Lownde Wood. This has included removing a few larger Oaks and Ash which will allow a lot more light to reach onto the woodland floor, with the timber taken away to be milled for the Wood Fair. Our volunteers then helped to cover the Sycamore stumps with brash to prevent the deer from eating any new shoots. We will monitor this area over the next few years to see what establishes.

 

Ickworth's Birds

Back in January we had a morning at the bird feeders doing some bird ringing thanks to trained volunteer Colin Jakes. A net is put up to catch the birds, which are then aged and sexed, with a ring put on their leg with an identification number. If any bird is then captured again, it aids understanding of bird’s movements, lifespan and so on. On this morning we predominately had Great Tits and Blue Tits.

Ickworth's ranger team admiring a blue tit.
Ranger holding a blue tit with team behind admiring at ickworth Suffolk
Ickworth's ranger team admiring a blue tit.

Start of Season

With the mild weather we had in February, the Gardening team have been busy. The mowers have already been out keeping areas looking smart. However, the dry spell meant the team were also watering a lot of the new planting that has been done in the Stumpery and the 2000 Yews doted around the garden.

What’s happening next?

The Ranger team will begin firewood processing, cutting 80 bags for offsite sales this coming autumn and winter.

Timber that has been felled as part of all our winter conservation work will need to be collected with the forwarder and bought to the wood store.

We will mill the first of the timber for the 2019 Wood Fair.

The Garden team will be fully into main season tasks, keeping on top of the mowing, weeding and edging.

Tulips and Daffodils will be giving a good display in the Walled Garden and Vista respectively.