Well we are almost ready to begin planting of the Giants Grove, as scheduled, in late March/early April. The ground clearance carried-out in the autumn was a huge success, and we are now ready to begin the establishment works. The Planting was always scheduled to be relatively late, in order to avoid any late spring frosts, which could cause serious damage to young trees newly transplanted. It is also an ideal time to aerate the soil (by a process called ripping) following the compaction caused by the clearance work, and the muddy site following winter. The trees are in large pots, and their delicate feeder-roots are in good condition, so they are expected to adapt well to their new home in the Giants Grove.
One of the most exciting aspects of the Giants Grove is how it will connect two large blocks of native broadleaved woodland. The area is already home to red squirrels, voles, shrew, pine marten and even the reclusive otter, in addition to many more common woodland mammal species. There are also large populations of birds and bats, insects and butterflies, all of which will benefit from and thrive in the larger habitat created. This project is special, on so many levels, in so many aspects. It’s fascinating to imagine how it will look in ten, a hundred or a thousand years, but it will all begin when the trees are planted in just a few weeks. I can’t wait to begin!