For me, now is the start of the great awakening of the farmland and woods. With my farming hat on there is a day sometime soon when you can visibly see the grass growing and the bees awakening from their winter slumber.
For the second year running we have seen snow at the farm – walking in the woods it’s a real treat to follow the tracks of the deer, stoats and rabbits as they traverse looking for food and water.
40,000 Small Woods
Take any ordnance survey map and you will show woodlands like ours making up the patchwork of our countryside. I read earlier that in England alone there are 40,000 small woods, making up 17% of the woodland canopy. Yet as more land is developed I find myself mindful of the importance of our woodland and how we are only guardians for the next generation.
We actively manage our woodlands – taking firewood, clearing the ever invasive willow and brambles to open up the glades to create a mosaic of habitats that is bursting with biodiversity. This can be hard work, so we also ensure we spend time enjoying the woods whether with wedding couples making their vows under our ancient oak or being joined by people holidaying in the farmhouse as I walk Pippa our Jack Russel through the glades.
More often or not it is just me, on my own with nature. Spending time to reflect on the day ahead or the day we are leaving. In a world of technology and rapid change there is something uplifting about being serenated by the robin that seems to accompany me daily on my walk, or the heady smell of the bluebells signalling the arrival of summer.
Why am I telling you this? Simply because woodlands make a perfect focus for holidays or weddings – and we’d love to share ours with you.