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Well I didn’t expect to be weeding a wood this week! We were out in Friends of the Lake District’s Greenbank Wood in the heart of Ambleside this week, and were joined by a group from the firm Zurich and a lady who works for a government department in London. It is always fantastic to welcome people and learn all about their interesting jobs.

Pictured: The Zurich volunteers ready for action

Greenbank Wood has many veteran trees but also huge numbers of seedlings that if not controlled could take over the wood. This is not necessarily a bad thing but in this case is for two reasons. First, the dominant seedlings are beech and sycamore which if not checked can quickly take over the wood, shading out the other seedlings and the majority of ground flora. Secondly, if they all grew, there would be no light left and we would end up with a lot of straggly specimens rather than some nice, healthy trees.

Pictured: Brash pile from our 'weeding' efforts

The Zurich gang quickly got stuck into chopping down some trees to give light to others and removing some of the offending species. But that was only part of the job. Cast your eyes down and there was a carpet of sycamore seeds. It seems horrid to destroy them and counter intuitive when we want trees, but sometimes you just have to be hard to get the longer term goal you want, so it was on the hands and knees weeding sycamore seeds. Although the wood is in the centre of Ambleside, once in it there is no sense of that at all with the birds sounds and clear wildlife tracks criss crossing the land. What a little haven it is. 

Pictured: Cleared beech avenue

In the last few weeks further north at Dam Mire Wood at Threlkeld Dan has installed a new shelter, and the family of Stephen Knafler who lived nearby have installed a seat within the shelter. These were both things that were suggested by the public following our opening day so it is good to be able to meet those requests.

Pictured: Newly installed seat and shelter on our land at Dam Mire Wood in Threlkeld, near Keswick

They look a bit new now but with our weather it won’t belong before they blend in. What a place to sit and watch the wildlife, ponder life or just admire the view. More benches are being made as we speak to go out soon. Meanwhile, it’s full blackberry season and there are some real whoppers on the land, do help yourself if you are up there for a walk! 

It is a busy week next week, putting in some rabbit wire on the enclosures on the Helm near Kendal, before we plant with some fruiting trees in a couple of months, and walling at Mazonwath too. Do join us if you would like to come along: Book online>