I first found this surprise a few months ago, just off the top track above Ravens Rock in Home Wood.
Someone has placed a circular wreath made of pine cones on a tree. We have no idea, who, when or why it was placed, but it is a really nice surprise to find a sculptural form in the woods.
Just off the top track in Home Wood
The wreath seems placed to mirror the ancient knot on the other side of the tree
Circular wreath made of pine cones on a tree
Each winter woodland management work is carried out to improve the wildlife habitats and remove the planted timber trees as they mature. I counted 40 rings on this conifer, which would mean it was planted in 1977.
Ideally the work is completed by March to avoid disturbance to nesting birds.
Unfortunately this year the work carried on well into April, and the timber extraction is still happening in mid May.
Stacked logs waiting extraction at entrance to Harridge Wood West
Stacked logs waiting extraction in late May 2017
The contractors completed their Conifer felling over the Easter weekend. The resulting stacks of timber are now by the Large Oak on the main track awaiting collection.
Unfortunately there will always be a few causalities of surrounding broadleaf trees, and this time the main Gatepost at the entrance to Harridge Woods West has also suffered.
The felled conifers, open up larger areas for the canopy, letting in sunlight to the ground flora
A casualty of conservation, unfortunately this limb of an Ash was caught by a falling conifer
The timber is stacked waiting extraction, while the brashings are mostly left where they fell
I love the backlit effects of low sunlight slanting over the moss under the conifers.
Sunlight slanting through the conifers to backlight the underlying moss
Fallen trees covered in moss, from some angles this looks like a lying person
In line with the long term management plan for the woods, this week contractors are in Harridge Woods West removing mature conifers.
Shorn of all its branches the trunk is laid bare
It takes more than one cut to fell a large tree
Warning signs on the loop
The buttresses of the tree are removed first before felling
However large conifers on the edges of the wood, especially to the top western side of blocks are been left as windbreaks for those trees behind.