Friday 30 July 2021

Summer in the woods and Dungeness

It's been a while since I last updated this blog, and there's been a lot going on - including me starting a new job part-time in addition to my existing work! But first, let's catch up on some photos from the woods over the past few months. Spring brought the usual display of flowers, such as these Wood Anemones, but a little later than some years as it was quite chilly.

2021-04-04 13.35.25

2021-04-09 14.29.57

The wild apple tree near our camp in the woods had another good display of blossom - I look forward to seeing how many apples develop, not that I'll be eating any of them...
2021-04-30 11.10.41

And of course the bluebells were looking as great as ever in May:
2021-05-15 14.55.08

Up at the top of the hill, where we coppiced last winter, things are growing back nicely. Here's some Ash and Sweet Chestnut:
2021-06-20 16.10.31

2021-06-20 16.10.45

The whole area has greened up a lot, and the brash piles are slowly disappearing from view:
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I did also get this great video of a Buzzard eating its prey (probably a pigeon), followed by a fox coming to sniff around after it had gone!

Only one camping trip so far this year, but we had great weather for it and plenty of time to sit round the fire.
2021-07-16 21.24.49

The big news is I've got a part-time job for 6 months as a Ranger at Dungeness National Nature Reserve. I'm doing this alongside my existing work at Ashden, so I've suddenly become rather busy, and the preceding couple of months were busy too as I tried to 'clear the decks' of any jobs that needed doing at home and in the woods. Dungeness is certainly a nice place to be in the summer!
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I get a truck do drive around:
2021-07-12 10.27.05

And it's not just about the sea and the shingle, there's also the 'long pits' which you only get to see if you venture away from the usual tourist attractions near the main car park:
2021-07-11 14.04.26

One other thing I did manage to squeeze in before starting the Ranger work was a day at the Hands of Hope site in Hawkhurst, where there's a kind of community garden and also a woodland - my friend Rich and I went and volunteered for a day to help fell some dangerous trees.
2021-06-18 16.06.40

Finally, closer to home, there was a strange object on the beach at Rye Harbour....
2021-06-26 13.53.09

It's actually an art installation called The Beacon, by Joseph Williams, intended to draw attention to the fragility of the area and the growing impacts of climate change. It's a bit odd to look at, but quite amazing once you're inside it:
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It's actually modelled on the Yellow Horned Poppy, which grows in the area:
2021-06-26 14.02.30

Also at Rye Harbour, we recently visited a bird hide at Castle Water, which we'd not been to before. It really has some excellent views:
2021-07-28 12.25.58

I got a number of nice photos of Cormorants there:




Did you know Cormarants nest in trees? They look a bit big to do that, but they really do:

And finally, a nice little family of Greylag Geese on one of the other lakes in the reserve:

That's all for now :-)


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