December 2017 to mid - January 2018


December 2017 to mid - January 2018

Happenings in Beatons Wood


Currently it is a quiet place dominated by the silhouettes of bare trees, which are devoid of all leaves except those of the hollies.  The forest floor is predominately all brown from the myriad of leaves that fell last autumn, not now dry and crunchy but flat and damp.  Due to the lack of any continuous spells of cold and frosty weather, here and there one sees the occasional bluebell leaves pushing upwards, through the layer of dank brown leaves, with glimpses of green shoots (see image).

Bluebell shoots

Scratch away at the fallen leaves, one quickly sees a hidden world of seeds beginning to germinate with their white sprouts preparing to emerge as the soil temperature rises.


Great Dixter waste brush wildlife habitatI noticed how Great Dixter that famous garden at Northiam, turn their waste brush wood into important wildlife habitats and one can see examples of how they look after years of slowly decomposing, with their most recent one depicted here (see image).  We have been trying to do this in our wood with those toppings that were not burnt, after the coppicing carried out early in 2016.  It is far harder than it looks!  It is difficult due to the age and brittleness of the material we are using, but with our first attempt we expect it to provide some nesting cover for small birds against their predators.  We may do some coppicing early in 2019 and are encouraged to have another attempt, rather than burn the toppings and if successful will post an image of what we create!


Over the years hazel and hornbeam have been planted with tree guards in the open areas after coppicing, but as young trees get established we have not always been removing them.  This has now been done, except for those we planted last year.  The guards have been left round the young hollies planted for the past three years around the Memorial Glade to act as a screen, but unfortunately a few keep dying meaning we will be planting more this year.  There may come a time when tree guards may not be necessary against rabbit damage, as we already have noticed fewer rabbits around the farm, which may be due to a new virus called Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease, said by some experts to be more deadly than Myxomatosis and which is currently spreading throughout our countryside.


New website


The delay in producing this blog was solely due to the length of time it has taken to finalize the new look of which will be our fifth website design and is now ‘live’ on the web.  In 2001 we were fortunate that with the help of Alan Morton who was interested in computers, we were able to register our unique and important domain name, which continues to maintain a top ranking listing with search engines like Google.  Tim Church a good friend with so much knowledge about websites, has since then assisted and advised as to how we should always be improving our site, whilst ensuring we maintained a social media presence.  We are so grateful for the vast amount of time he has put in over the past busy twelve weeks, with his various ideas in developing the site which have been crucial and invaluable.  His aim has always been to guarantee that it would be easy to navigate from all devices especially from mobile phones, that it contains all information which might be needed, whilst communicating with myself and Worldwide Webdesign, who have actually developed the latest site.

My office

This image is my base from where my wife says I spend far too much time!


2018 Publicity Leaflet


Thanks to Jim Tipler of Hailsham Creative who has produced a modern design for our leaflet this year. It can be downloaded from Mentioned on the leaflet is that this year’s Arlington Bluebell Walk will be significant, as we will have exceeded raising over £1,000,000 for local charities.


My aim is to try and have the next Blog posted at the end of January. 


John McCutchan 

This message was added on Sunday 14th January 2018

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