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                  Newsletter - Autumn 2014

We recently had the pleasure of showing our oldest member, Mr Arthur Horne, who recently celebrated his 101st birthday, where in the wood we were able to plant the alder buckthorn saplings which we have grown from the seeds which he has given us. It brought back memories of when in the year 2000 we were able to show our previous senior member, Frank Hick, who was active until the age of 99 and regularly walked in the wood for many years, the magnificent display of foxgloves which had grown up after the Millennium area was originally cleared to make way for our millennium planting of oaks. Oak trees themselves can live to more than 800 years, as we found some years ago when we visited the veteran oaks on the Duncombe Park estate near Helmsley. All of this shows that woodlands are for the long term and can provide great opportunities to enjoy healthy activities and peaceful enjoyment that help to keep us fit for a good few years. We have been busy in recent years planting trees, including oaks, that will reinvigorate Hagg Wood for many years to come, and help restore it to a semi-natural woodland with many broadleaf species, and associated wildlife. Many of the oaks which we planted in the Millennium area, with the help of local children, have been growing amidst the silver birch which have sprung up, and which have been acting as a nurse crop. However, they now need more space to develop, so we have busy in our conservation working parties in recent weeks clearing around the many oaks there to give them more light and space to thrive into the future. If we all reach 101, it will be good to come back and see how they, and the rest of our plantings, have been getting on and responding to all our efforts.

One persistent problem that the wood has had over many years is with the drainage in the winter months. This has often led to boggy paths and some water-logging of conifers, and their early demise. Last year the Forestry Commission carried out at our request the installation of many new drains within the wood. However, they still report “a very high water table” in Hagg Wood. We are urging the FC to investigate whether this is due to poor drainage away from the wood itself, so that a longer term solution can be found, and the paths steadily improved despite the winter rains.

 We have a full programme overleaf of indoor and outdoor events and activities for you to enjoy in the next few months. Do join us when you can. Please also make sure that you have renewed your subscription through to next May, and contact our membership secretary, Elaine Hudson, on 01904-481520 or if not. If you have not already told us your e-mail address, it would be very helpful for Elaine to have it so we can keep you up to date straight away on new developments. 

Autumn is also again a time when we can simply enjoy the beauty of the wood through long strolls along its rides as the colour of its berries and of its golden leaves of its broadleaf trees matures with the onset of mellow fruitfulness. With plenty of fresh air and exercise, let us hope we too can mellow to a ripe old age!


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