It is a real privilege. Something most people never get to do in their lifetime. But thanks to my Mum’s legacy, and a lot of hard work from lots of wonderful and helpful people, we have that privilege. We are making a visible change to the landscape and in doing so we hope that we will leave a beautiful woodland for people and wildlife to enjoy many years into the future.
After months of waiting the contract is signed, and our woodland creation project is underway: Betty’s Wood is being planted. Throughout February we are taking delivery of around 650 to 700 trees each weekend, and planting them to form the new woodland, together with wildflower meadows, rides, glades and ponds. It is so exciting to see the spots on the ground, the first new trees going in, and the landscape changing before your very eyes.
It is hard to imagine exactly what it is going to be like, but even while standing in a muddy, cold field in the middle of winter, my mind is drawn to the image of what it might be like in this, and subsequent summers. The little trees gradually taking root and gaining height, the wildflower meadows developing their own characteristics, buzzing with insects in the summer. The ponds brimming with frogs, insects, dragonflies and being used as drinking points by pheasants, rabbits, deer, badgers, hares and foxes. Small birds gradually moving into the scrub as it develops and thickens. Ground-nesting birds using the edge of the meadows – skylarks, maybe, as well as pheasant and possibly woodcock and snipe. The buzzards screeching overhead. Butterflies starting to move along the rides, paths and woodland edge. Little blue butterflies on the vetches and grasses in the meadows. The hedgerow springing to life with flowers, fruit, insects and birds. In the evenings, the bats swooping down after insects.
If Betty’s Wood achieves a fraction of that, I will be delighted. We have to make it happen and now we have the opportunity. So..if anybody would like to join in and have the privilege of altering the landscape and making the World a better place…come along during the weekends in February. We need your help to succeed.