An ancient philosopher once noted there is a season for everything. We see this played out annual in the natural world. The natural rhythms of life go on even if human society wishes to ignore or manipulate them.
Yet when we allow those natural rhythms to include ourselves we feel so much more at one. Absorption of the natural world and its rhythms are known to improve our mental health and one way of doing this is by being in the "wild" world where nature dictates the course and rhythm of life. So now is the time for planting – of trees.
Earlier in the year we planted the first of the trees which we hope will add to the natural environment and bio-diversity of the Fields and our human enjoyment. During the summer, the Working Group has worked on a policy for tree planting which is sympathetic to the Fields and their habitats utilising native trees. It is planned that in time a new wooded areas will grow providing a habitat that it not at present provided.
An area between the Oak trees in the top field and Green lane as been identified as appropriate. It will provide a habitat link between these isolated Oak trees and the hedgerow corridor. A number of saplings have been offered by local folk and these will be planted on the morning of Saturday 23rd October. This is a planting for the future as the full effect of our planting will not be realised until well after our departure.
Some eagled eyed folk will notice that the Fields have been cut again. This is the planned cut, unlike the one that took place in June. It also helps us prepare the ground for the tree planting.
In addition we are aiming to protect a number of naturally generated Oak seedlings which have seeded after last year's "mast year" when an abundant of acorns was produced.. In time (we are looking at a hundred years or more) these will replace the parent trees in the natural regeneration cycle.
Autumn on Turnpike Fields, indeed, has its special moments. It is a season when all the gloss and glamour of summer is past. Only a few plants continue to add colour and the whole pace of life is slowed down. Gone are most of the butterflies , bees and other insects that have been so busy over the summer months. A common red damselfly and broad bodied chaser over the pond were a rare treat on a sunny day recently. Yet life is around us if we stand and look. A rustle in the undergrowth by the pond and there is a bank vole and in the leaf litter at the base of the oak tree the hidden underground world is putting is an appearance above ground – in this case Oakbug Milkcap. Among the remnants of the wood chipping heap by the gate are gatherings of Milky Bonnet fungi. We can expect to see even more of this underground world make an appearance in the coming days.
And finally, who is this night-time visitor? Captured on a trail-cam placed by the brook.