The Friends of Haddon Wood

Everything interesting we can think of about Alhampton's community woodland. To leave a comment on a post, click on its title and scroll down…

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We’re on FaceBook!

Well, you have to, don’t you! …You don’t?… Well, we’re there all the same. Look for Haddon Wood, Alhampton, Somerset


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Planting, Stage 2 – the Community day…

So, the second – and final – stage of planting is underway.

It doesn’t seem that long since the first planting in March, but a world away in terms of planting conditions. I’m glad we didn’t know then how long it would be before we could ditch hats, scarves and gloves and one of the latest Springs on record arrived.This time around it was overcast, but the ground was soft and damp – and a lot warmer, so, hopefully, a good start for these trees.

Keinton Mandeville Primary School started us off on Thursday 14th November, followed by Oaklands Community School the next day and they made a great start between them. Saturday was the open community planting day and it was grim and grey – the sort of day when you might think sensible people would find better things to do inside, maybe by the fire – and really we had no way of knowing how many would turn out. A fantastic 50 did, though and an amazing selection of cakes – thanks to Hil, Liddy, Jessica and Margie – kept us going, so by the end of the session we’d got about 850 whips in the ground. All that despite Network Rail’s (seemingly) endless closure of the A371 between Castle Cary and Haddon Wood too.

This only leaves about 5,650 to go – thank goodness for the contractors who are finishing the job during the course of this week …and for Rose, who took proper pictures.

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October’s Great Storm…?

How were you affected?

Here in Somerset we were deluged with storm warnings and advice from the Met Office during the run up to the end of last month. It’s a tricky business, keeping a handle on our perennially unpredictable weather and the MO, forever on the alert to avoid another Michael Fish blooper, duly broadcast about a week’s worth of advice on how to stay safe and protect property.

The wind picked up over the week-end and rain came and went …and then came again, with more serious intent. On Sunday night the noise on my roof, here in Castle Cary, was incredibly loud, the streets of were awash and I actually considered sleeping somewhere different from my usual spot, directly below a chimney stack that needs re-pointing. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I woke up on Monday morning to… well, nothing much of note – just the usual aftermath of a severe rain storm, though none of the shops was flooded this time (in itself a miracle). Things were a little different over in Haddon Wood. notanotherthistle had been out and about since the early hours of Monday morning and during the course of the day reported back.

In some quarters Alhampton is known as The Swamp (it’s low-lying, a bit damp, on IMG_0411heavy clay) and yet again it seems to have been a bit of a target – the combination of wind and rain had taken a toll on a fair number of hedgerow trees throughout the village. Without exception the victims were either overloaded with burgeoning clumps of ivy, or had forked trunks leaving them vulnerable.  (NB The WT operates a policy of non-intervention, presumably on the basis that if trees fall, the resulting rotting wood will form wildlife habitats of their own, but I wonder if there’s anything that would trigger an exception to that stance – Elfin Safety?).

The trees in Haddon Wood are still too small to have attracted the storm’s attention, but there were one or two lucky escapes: a large ash in the hedgerow up the side of F2 has dropped half it’s canopy, but it looks as though most, if not all, of the young trees are poking up through the foliage!

(Thanks to notanotherthistle for picture contributions)