Odds and sods from the spring

Series two landrover

Series 2 Land Rover

Another catch-up session from a few months ago…

Bought a new (old) Series 2 Land Rover (as old as me! ) which is mine. Always liked the older ones, not sure which is in better condition!!!! It would be rather good to get one for the estate that’s been renovated with a new galvanised chassis, parabolic springs and a better engine – it would look more the part on the Wimpole Estate and be easier to maintain (we could actually work on it ourselves as they are rather basic ) plus you don’t pay road tax.

Sheep off to market

Sheep off to market

Sold most of my Norfolk Horn sheep in March, just kept nine shearlings as it was costing too much during the year and the price for rare breeds was low again. Sad to see all those good ewes go to market ūüė¶

Otter footprints

Otter footprints

Down on the River Rhee, which runs through the South Avenue, it was good to find that otters had been passing by… yet to see any on the Wimpole Estate though.

Gosh whose were these?

Gosh! Whose were these?

There were more tracks which seem to be from various mammals and I suspect there could have been some polecats and mink mingled in with the rat, vole and shrew footprints. Must get a remote camera out to catch the nocturnal goings on…

Blacksmithing course

Blacksmithing course

The blacksmithing course went well and I was very impressed with the three men- not only did they go hammer and tongs making the normal ram’s head hook, they even added twists into the horns which really finish off the design nicely. To cap it all there was even enough time left in the day to make a short resoled nail.

Three happy men

Three happy men






Four hooks, as I always make one to show how it’s done



There was plenty of work to do on the Estate and one job was to remove the maple trees from a chalk grass bank which used to be full of chalkland flowers. Removing the maples will help get rid of the ivy that has taken over and allow the flowers to re-establish themselves.


Felling the maple


With help from the volunteers and gardeners (who, incidentally, wanted the woodchip for the garden paths) we soon had this lot cleared up.


Woodchip for the Gardens





As these trees were in the open and exposed to the elements they did in fact have some good lichens on them. The best was Cartilage Lichen


Various lichens on one of the few ash trees.

ramadan fraxinea.  This species has declined markedly since the mid 20th century and is now rare or absent in many UK areas. Its sensitivity to air pollution and fertilizer enrichment may be reasons for the decline. It is mainly found on the bark of Acer, Fraxinus, Populus, Tilia and Ulmus


Ramalina fraxinea on maple






Carting timber

Carting timber

Next job on the list was to cart all the timber we had cut down during the winter, and  number one on the list were the felled trees in the adventure playground at Home Farm and alongside the laid hedge.

Bluebells and the laid hedge at Home farm

Bluebells and the laid hedge at Home Farm

When I first came to Wimpole this area was awash with bluebells but sadly they have greatly diminished in numbers and can now only be seen in areas where they don’t get trampled.






Another beautiful sight this spring  were the cowslips, especially up in Folly Field- so many it was like a carpet of yellow.

Cwslips at the folly

Cowslips at the Folly



The foresters new business

Burnt out cars, don’t you hate them? This one turned up after lunch sometime and… guess what? Without a registration plate it’s nigh on impossible to get anyone to move it. So …what do you do? Take it back to the yard, cut it up and skip it. However the car has to go in two separate skips!!!!!!


Smith & Franklin’s Garage Facility

Anyway, we’ve decided to start a new business: The Forester’s Car Delivery Service and Smith & Franklin’s Garage Facilities. Think we’re onto a winner here…….


St George’s mushroom







Lastly, it’s always a delight to see the spring fungi show themselves and best of all is the St George’s mushroom which is so named as it usually fruits around St George’s Day on the 23rd April.


Fairy ring

That’s it for the spring, next it will be time to catch up on the more recent news…

About Sadeik

You may ask why "Sadeik" well it means friend in arabic. Worked in Jordan a lot doing tree surgery you see. I have worked in forestry since I left school with a two years in Telecom. Went back to forestry and tree surgery as it may not have paid as much but was far more interesting and dangerous. Spent a lot of years mountaineering, caving and canoeing too. At 29 I went to Bangor University to study Forestry and soil science then did an MSc in Water engineering all very interesting. By a quirk of fate in 1995 ended up helping sort out the woodland and park at Wimpole, funny thing was then I only intended to stay six months or so, but 18 years later I'm still here learning all the time. That's the best bit, if I wasn't able to learn something new every year I would not have stayed and as you get older you realise that the grass is not so green in the next field after all. In fact my patch is getting greener while much of the rest is getting browner.
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