02 March 2012

Spring has sprung

At lunch time today we heard our first curlew calling as it flew over the moor top and this morning there were a dozen or more lapwing displaying up at Sillas (high point on the moor). 
This last week we've had reports of frog spawn and a huge adder (estimated at over a foot long) as well.  We've a had a couple of days without needing to light the wood stove although it's cooler today and it's blazing away merrily. Yesterday morning the weather was most odd, at 7ish the sky was high and blue, the sun was shining and burning off the last of the mist it felt the early hours of a mid-summer morning, you know those mornings when you're up and out early to do your breeding bird counts?  One of those but then as the mist burnt away the heavily dew covered grass turned out to be frozen solid with an exceptionally hard frost.  The forecast is mixed for the weekend and coming week so lets hope they're not too early.
AW (Focus Co-ordinator) and family have seven acres of land not far from home for grazing their animals (and sometime those from the family farm) and hope to plant up part of it as woodland for use as fuel in the fullness of time.  It's under a Countryside Stewardship agreement for another year so that limits what they can use it for at the moment but this month they're making a start in thickening up the hedgelines and headlands with more trees. Currently waiting to go in are 25 transplanted sycamores along with some recently bought whips of 20 alder, 6 field maple, 3 white poplars and for some variety and autumn colour 3 liquidamber gums.
This week's Weekly has gone to press, it's 12 pages this week with lots of details and reactions to the new NIA announced by defra. There are 13+ volunteer posts this week along with 37 new paid posts of which 33 came direct to CJS.