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One of the things we’re always paying attention to is the weather. With our sustainability hats on we’re always dismayed when unseasonally ‘bad’ weather is glossed over by the media but unseasonally ‘good’ weather is championed as though it’s highly desirable.

Neither is desirable, unseasonal weather is exactly that, unseasonal, and the reason is simple – climate change.  First, we had a perishingly cold and bone dry April with winds blowing permanently from the north and north east, bringing us frosty mornings and arctic temperatures. The cold snap stalled the normally expected spring growth of flowers and leaves to such an extent that we were worried that many would be lost – particularly the bluebells. May arrived and we were relieved when the winds changed to south westerlies bringing warm air from the gulf stream and rain from the Atlantic. We certainly needed rain, but it’s been a washout – quite the wettest one we can remember. Of course, the rain helped kick start the green growth – the hedgerows, trees and flowers have burst into life, almost overnight, but everything still feels a couple of weeks behind the usual timeline. Happily, the bluebells, did survive and are still in full bloom in our wood, looking gorgeous and smelling heavenly.

May is usually a quiet month for conservation work. It’s a month when nature does its thing and doesn’t need any help from us. But one job that Christopher undertook was the removal of rabbit guards from over 700 metres of now established hedgerow that we planted a good few years back. It was a lesson learned. Stretches of hedgerow we’ve planted in more recent times has been without the aid of rabbit guards and weed cover as we’ve realised that the saplings look after themselves, they simply don’t need all that plastic – and the planet certainly doesn’t.

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