August 2021 update


August 2021 update


If you are a regular visitor to the Bluebell Walk you will know that the Millennium Avenue is the gateway to Beatons Wood.  In the last few years, I have been removing an overgrowth of cow parsley, docks, brambles, coarse grasses, also blackthorn bushes on the bank.  This means that the wild daffodils that Carolyn started sowing many years ago are now more prominent, as you can see in this image taken by Pete Goldsmith in March this year. 

Daffodils in Millennium AvenueEarly next spring, once the daffodils start to emerge, we will dig up bulbs from where they are congested and relocate them to the bare areas.  These will be the first bulbs ever to be planted, as all the other daffodils have grown from seed, either scattered by Carolyn or self-seeded, so it is another legacy of hers that I am so fortunate to have as it just gives and gives!   


Because the daffodil flowering is over by the time the Bluebell Walk starts, we will be opening Bates Green Garden on Wednesdays in February and March, plus two Sundays for the NGS, so that the Millennium Avenue can be seen in its full glory.


herbage cut from the meadowLast week we cut about half an acre of the wildflower meadow in an area where the herbage was low due to impoverished soil.  I then spread this collected herbage by hand along Millennium Avenue. 

The intention is that, as the daffodils die down, wildflower seed will germinate to give interesting areas leading up to Beatons Wood lasting until July.


In Beatons Wood I have been carrying out my usual annual maintenance by removing young brambles and wild raspberries, all trying to re-establish, besides Yorkshire Fog, False oat-grass, docks, and creeping thistle which all have to be kept in check to allow our visitors to fully enjoy the vistas of wood anemones and English bluebells.

Young hornbeamThis area was coppiced in 2019 and with light, the dormant seeds have produced this profusion of young hornbeam, which have grown exceptionally well this year due to our wet summer, so the flail cutter will have to be hired again in the autumn!

wild raspberriesA few wild raspberries growing up amongst the young hornbeam, which will have to be pulled by hand before the flail cutter comes.  If allowed to grow they can reach 6’ high with no trouble and sucker profusely.

mature hornbeamThe woodland a few metres away from the area we coppiced in 2019, with the mature hornbeam which is only suitable for firewood and charcoal, as being a very hard tough wood used to make amongst other things cogs, until plastic was invented!

False oat-grassA bank on which I will have to remove the false oat-grass which will eventually overwhelm the bluebells, so plenty to do before bluebell time!


Work on the Bluebell Barn roof has completed. Not only does it look much better, but it will also mean the barn is warmer when the weather gets colder.

 Bluebell Barn roof - beforeBluebell Barn roof - after

As the barn is operational again, the charities can resume serving refreshments whilst Bates Green Garden is open on Wednesdays until the end of October. This Wednesday 18th August, refreshments will be provided by Cancer Research UK. I hope to see you then, 10:00am to 4:00pm.


John McCutchan




This message was added on Tuesday 17th August 2021

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