Friday, 22 May 2015

Field maintenance

It must be about 18 years ago when we last did any major ditching in this part of the Haunn field.  With increasing rainfall, and differing rain patterns (i.e torrential rains) the field drains and ditches have to deal with a lot more water and flash flood run-off, so when the ditches collapse and get blocked up, the wet areas inevitably spread and the balance in the field changes.  

Farmer has been worrying about some of the wetter areas of the Haunn field for a few winters now, and this spring we decided that we should clean out the ditches and drains in certain parts of the Haunn field and the Black Park, where the wet areas were beginning to encroach on better bits of ground, and the path of the invasive rushes creeps ever further...  

It was a shock at first, seeing the ditches so open and bare soil exposed. However James, who is doing the work for us, has been careful to lay the turfs back the right way up on the banks of the ditches where he can so that the flora is not too adversely affected.  He has done a very careful job. And it will green over.  It is good to see the water that has been sitting, creating what Farmer calls a cold bog, to see that water flowing away.  

In other boggy parts of the in-by the bog myrtle has been flowering and the leaves are just coming.  The bluebells are flowering too, lovely to see and to smell. 

There are wonderful boggy wet areas filled with fantastic clumps of marsh marigold and cinque foil, and other wet loving plants, and we certainly want to keep those areas damp and boggy, but they can get too stagnant and cold, if the excess water cannot get away.

We walked up onto the hill tonight after supper, to check the water supplies.  I couldn't believe the size of this Oak eggar moth caterpillar. 

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