Archive for April, 2010

I went for a walk this morning and would like to say a personal thank you to the people and their dogs for their company. The sun was shining, the people

were laid back, the dogs

were all happy and the

birds were singing and

for once they were

heard without the

constant airplane

noise courtesy of

the Iceland volcano

dust cloud. Maybe the

quiet made a difference.

The quiet was certainly useful to the Macbeth film crew in there who

were not having to dodge at least that

background noise. It is a great place to

use for filming.

Today I saw the first of the bluebells.

All the bluebells in Abney are Spanish

Bluebells. The English variety are mush smaller, more delicate, they curve over at the top of the stem and the flowers hang down from the curve, not laying along the stem. The colour is different too. It is a truer blue, less mauve.

The horse


sticky buds are

bursting and

the flowers

are already

falling off

from the squirrel activity, the catkins

on the Birch trees are there, (probably

the hayfever season is gearing up).

It looks fantastic. The lacy, tiny fresh

green leaves catch the sun in ways I always forget one year to the next. I have more photos on flickr (April photos).


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So far the weather is a bit cold for much to grow, but I have seen a few new growths. I’m putting the photos of the species I find in a flickr set Fungus photos 2010. The best photo so far is Coprinellus disseminatus…..

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I managed to get for a short walk really early and caught the end of the dawn chorus. It is spectacular this year. Maybe the birds are relieved to have arrived at the end of winter too.

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If you are going to Abney for a walk it is definitely wellie weather. The mud has become widespread across the paths.

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I have had an email from Russell Miller that I have copied here. “I’ve been working with the Council’s tree unit to manage some of Abney’s veteran trees.  The aim is to preserve trees that have good wildlife value but which might be shaded out (thorns) or fall apart (poplars and chestnuts).
Since we are doing some work to some of the trees I’ve also tried to introduce some specific veteran tree management techniques, including the unusual cuts to which you refer.  These are called ‘coronet cuts’ because they look like crowns.  They have a number of advantages.

* They leave a larger area of exposed cambium thereby encouraging (‘adventitious’) growth from these exposed living tissues;
* They create small crevices and cavities for insects;
* They mimic storm damage and lessen the harsh appearance of tree surgery.

These cuts are very different to the standard cut which aims to minimise the area of exposed wood to accelerate the healing process.  However veteran tree management works from the premise that the tree is already in decline and such trees are therefore managed more for biodiversity than amenity.

I will be doing some signs for Abney to go in front of the trees.”

Thanks Russell. The photo shows the necessity for pruning. The growth was all on one side, and over the path. The cut branches have reduced the weight on the path side. I shall watch what happens with interest!

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