We then all moved our cars (to avoid car park charges!) and, once re-parked, hopped into the National Trust Land Rovers to get to Coldwell Clough.
When we arrived, we saw where the 3 new tree guards had been started by Shane and his team.
|The tree guards had almost been constructed for when we arrived:-)|
Before we started, Shane explained the reasoning behind the choice of planting Alders in this particular spot, as they grew well in wet conditions and by streams. The nodules in their roots supported microbes and were therefore important to the ecosystem because they enriched the soil with nitrogen and other nutrients. Alders are monoecious and produce male and female catkins on the same tree. This occurs between February and April. The female catkins, once pollinated by the wind, gradually become woody and appear as tiny, cone-like fruits in winter. These cones then open up to release seeds, which are dispersed by the wind and the water. Alders are great for wildlife, particularly as many birds, including Blue Tits and Long Tailed Tits, enjoy feeding on the cones, which stay on the tree all year round.
|One of the Alders in its protective sleeve|
|The tree guard was completed|
Afterwards, most of the volunteers departed, as the weather was getting miserable and some had already said that they couldn't stay for long, and Tim was full of a cold! Only Adrian and I stayed and did some gully clearance with Shane, Miles and Mark. We had the luxury of sitting in the Rangers 'office' for lunch, where it was dry and there was a kettle!
As always, it was nice being outside in the fresh air and not even the weather could dampen our spirits:-)
Photo's by Adrian and Daniel