July 2018


July 2018


Effects of recent heatwave on Beatons Wood

Quite amazing that after those many days of really hot weather, which was causing most of the elderflower trees and ferns to wilt, overnight on the 27th the first rain thankfully came. It was only 7mm, yet enough to re-invigorate much of the flagging vegetation in Beatons Wood.

Lower PondThis image of the Lower Pond shows how depleted is the water level, yet enough to sustain the wildlife that use it. However,  as it is only filled by surface water I fear it will take many months to replenish it, unless now that the heatwave has broken it will just continue raining day after day as happened in 1976!  Some plants, like these primrose plants we planted by the Lower Pond,

Primrose Plants in Need of Raindesperately need a great deal of moisture, which will also help our clay soil to expand and remove those unattractive cracks.  Another thing I am noticing is that the hot weather appears to have brought the start of autumn forward by several weeks as this image shows - the leaves of a silver birch tree changing to their autumn colours.

Early AutumnAlso on the ground are many shed leaves, as the trees try and cope with both the day and night abnormal temperatures.   


Competitions entered

Rural Business Awards LogoThis year we entered the Rural Business Awards (RBAs) which are the only UK-wide business awards specifically for the rural sector. This is a national competition that has been running for four years and we are delighted to announce that for the South East Region we are one of five to have been shortlisted under their ‘Outstanding Rural Diversification Project’ category.   We will not know the result until the winners are announced at, what we are told will be a glittering ceremony at Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking on Tuesday 23rd October.  If successful the winners of each regional category are then put forward to the national final, which takes place in February 2019.  I will keep you updated!

Last year we entered ‘The Beautiful South – Awards for Excellence’ run by Tourism South East and were awarded Highly Commended, so we shall see if we can improve on that this year, but will have to wait until October!


Judging Photographic Competition

We were late this year in its judging, which finished about 10 days ago, and all the winners have now been informed of what they have won and when to expect their prizes and certificates. Tim Church kindly produces certificates for each winner incorporating their image, so it is a lasting reminder of what it was that gave them the award.  These images will appear on The Gallery Page of www.bluebellwalk.co.uk as has happened with all winners since 2010.  Tim then prepares panels which are then displayed in the Bluebell Barn ready for the 2019 Arlington Bluebell Walk & Farm Trails.


 Small Woods in the South East

At the beginning of the month we hosted a visit for nearly twenty members of the Small Woods group of which we have been a member for some years.  It is affiliated to www.smallwoods.org.uk and one of the aims is to provide support and advice to those who own or manage small woods, which can be as small as just a few acres and upwards. Our local group is led by David Brown who is the co-ordinator for Kent, Surrey and Sussex.  He is particularly interested in a wood’s historic past, so as we walked round he pointed out various indicators that showed that Beatons Wood could accurately be described as an ancient oak wood with coppice.  An interesting two hour walk, in which I learnt a lot.


My aim is to try and have the next blog posted at the end of August


John McCutchan


This message was added on Tuesday 31st July 2018


Thank you/Adrian Backshall

Very interesting John, the image of the lower pond was an eye opener! Looking forward to seeing the Wood next spring, and hoping for misty mornings.

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