Progress Down at t’Mill
We have been making great progress down at Ricketts Mill. Steve has been pulling back the banks of the former trout lake to create shallow areas and we have been planting some of these with reeds. Reed planting is on hold for a while because of avian flu. We are planting up the exposed earth with willow cuttings from adjacent trees. These whips usually take quite well, especially if you can push more below ground than above. In a couple of years they should produce bushes two metres high.
Drew has been planting the hedgebanks with hawthorn, blackthorn, some hazel and a few beech and oaks. We have conserved the original topsoil from the banks so the residual seed bank should soon recover the vegetation.
Meanwhile Steve and his team have been slicing a trench about 15 cm wide and one metre deep along the whole length of the field and laying a heavy electricity cable. Then all the overhead power lines will be removed. Western Power kindly offered to do this for free provided we did all the trenching and ground work. This has meant threading through a maze of water pipes that supply the ponds and Drew is busy mapping them all while we can see where they are. It all looks a mess at the moment but you cannot make a cake without breaking the eggs and when the spring comes nature will start to heal the wounds.