After the purchase of Corehead Farm and the Beeftub in 2009, one of the first things to happen was the planting of a few trees. Well..... more than 230,000 actually across 195 hectares of land. This happened over a 3 year period and included a range of species such as oak, ash, aspen, juniper, rowan, alder, willow, birch and cherry. After a huge effort by staff, volunteers and contractors the final tree was planted in May 2013.
The 3 main areas that were planted (there are a few other small areas along the river) are Tweedhope, Whitehope and Lochan Burn. Ever year we walk these sites and carry out a survey to see how well they are doing.
These can take quite a few days to carry out but they are really important. We randomly select a number of plots (between 40 and 50 depending on the size of the planted area) and look at the number and species of trees planted, the surrounding ground vegetation, how many trees have been browsed, how many have died and how many poking out of their tubes.
|A hazel poking out of its tube
|And a holly!
|And this rowan is doing well
|But some tubes get a bit clogged with grass
This information is really useful. If there are any areas where we have identified trees are struggling we can look to replant these this winter. Whitehope and Lochan Burn plantations are surrounded by a deer fence but they can still sometimes get in and nibble at the trees. The surveys can show how much damage has been done and if we need to take further action to control deer in these areas.