Thursday 14 August 2014

Trees at Talla Bank

Just next to our Talla & Gameshope estate Tim, BFT’s Site Manager has been working on marking out a new 94 hectare site. We are managing the site at Talla Bank on behalf of a private landowner in partnership with the Woodland Trust to create a lovely new native woodland just above the Talla reservoir. Tim explains what is happening at the site at the moment.

Once all the behind the scenes paperwork has been approved we source all the trees, order tree protection, find planting and fencing contractors. We try and use local nurseries and contractors to do the work and supply the trees to help the local economy. Once everything is in place we start to mark out the site with stakes and coloured flags. This makes is easy for everybody to see where to plant the trees (and just as importantly, where not to plant the trees). In this photo the treeline will be below the heather in the background. It is marked with pink flags but its not possible to see these as theyre a long way away!.

Internal open space is marked with yellow flags. You will notice the sheep are still on the site. Ideally the sheep wouldn’t be on site whilst we are marking out and placing the canes, but they don’t appear to be doing any significant damage at the moment. The sheep will be taken off before the trees are brought onto site in the coming planting season. The sheep do, however, help to keep the grass short which does make it easier going when walking across the site.

This is one of the tree planters, Andy, who is placing canes out at the top of the site. This is a job that involves a lot of walking and a good understanding of the ground and the woodland type that can be supported. Andy is part of Treesurv’s team who we have worked with at Corehead and Wildwood and understand native woodland creation.

The view from the top of the planting line back down towards Talla. The small blob in the middle is Treesurv’s Argocat and the canes keeping under a waterproof sheet.

On the way back down the hill I came across this little fellow. A dung beetle.

And here is his friend doing what dung beetles do best – Happy as a dung beetle in dung!

In the afternoon I marked out the open space either side of the power lines. We don’t plant trees right up to the power lines because when the trees grow they can interfere with the wires so we mark it out the open space which makes it clear for the planters where to plant and where to leave. Open space is part of native woodlands; glades and rides are good for insects and wild flowers amongst other things. If you look carefully you can see the Argocat heading up the hill.

 Whilst I was marketing out the power lines I came across this:

So I had a go seeing if I could remove ‘Excalibur’.

Nope, I obviously haven’t been descended from King Arthur!!!! Seriously, if anybody does know why this is here please let us know. And here is the last couple of photos from a previous visit to Talla Bank – two woodpecker holes in a Scottish Power electricity pole. There is a sign saying it was inspected in 2013. I don’t think they looked too hard….

Site Manager

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