April 2019 at Stackpole

Wood anemones in flower on the Stackpole Estate

April saw us welcome in Easter, a very busy time for the estate. The gloriously sunny long weekend kicked the season off as people flocked to enjoy our beautiful beaches, walks around the lily ponds and spectacular shows of wild garlic and bluebells in the woodlands.

Easter also marks a shift-change in how the ranger team at Stackpole works, bringing the first real test for improvements we have made to access and presentation of the estate over the winter period.

Whilst out on-site walking the lakeside paths over the Easter holidays, I spotted early purple orchids in bloom along the southern edge of the path between Bosherston and Broad Haven South. Despite the unseasonably strong winds that had hit the previous night, they remained in surprisingly good condition. 

Spring spectacular

Signs of spring have been appearing all over the estate, aside from wild garlic smothering the ground in Lodge Park Wood and the blankets of bluebells in Castle Dock, wood anemones – one of my favourites – have popped up in a few secret corners of woodland.

Swallows and house martins have begun to appear, swooping above the upper eastern arm of the lakes around dusk. Another great sight has been stonechats and linnets busily nesting in the dunes behind Broad Haven South.

At Gupton a rare migrant yellow wagtail was spotted this April, along with a growing gang of greylag geese that have been loitering around the wetter areas at the bottom of the valley.

An early purple orchid in flower and ranger Tom with our new Corsican pine
An early purple orchid in flower and ranger Tom with our new Corsican pine
An early purple orchid in flower and ranger Tom with our new Corsican pine

Planting inspired by the Cawdors

Since my last blog, we have planted some more trees in Lodge Park Wood. As part of the restoration of the area behind the summer house, where we carried out felling operations this winter, we have planted two new trees – a walnut and a Corsican pine.  

While this might not seem like many considering how many we removed, the overall plan is to reduce the density of trees and to give those that we retain or plant more space in order to flourish and grow to their full potential, both in health and aesthetics.  

Although our usual preference is towards planting native woodland, in Lodge Park Wood we have an opportunity to be more adventurous with our choices, drawing inspiration from a range of sources we have relating to the original historical plantings from the Cawdor era.

Exploring Stackpole

With the fine weather and flourishing wildlife drawing visitors to the estate, we continue to try and provide a great experience for all.  

We are lucky this spring to have launched our new tramper (an all-terrain mobility scooter) and beach wheelchair to enable more people to enjoy and explore Stackpole. 

Both vehicles are free to use, if you’re interested in borrowing them, please contact our team on 01646 623110 for more information.

For those taking to the lakeside paths, there is now a great new bench carved by ranger Tom and his chainsaw from a section of Lawson’s cypress near the Eight-Arch Bridge, an excellent spot to stop and contemplate the view.

Our new bench was carved by ranger Tom
A close-up of the new visitor bench
Our new bench was carved by ranger Tom