Update on the Bluebell Walk Preparations for 2014


Update on the Bluebell Walk Preparations for 2014

Mole Plough

Since the 2013 Walk finished in May, on-going preparation work for next year started. Firstly the car park field had work done to reduce the soil impaction caused by the many cars. A contractor supplied a very large tractor with what we call a ‘mole plough’ attached, which has a sharpened single blade towing a solid cylindrical shaped piece of metal about four inches in diameter called the ‘mole’. This blade is lowered into the ground to a depth of about sixteen inches or 40 cms and repeatedly pulled across this five acre field with the attached mole expanding the tunnel. Forcing this mole plough into our heavy clay subsoil fractures the soil above and one sees the surface rise as the mole does its work below. The tractor returns with the back wheel running on the raised line so keeping the surface of the field level, but below the tunnel is undamaged, so when we have wet weather the rain drains off the field surface into these channels and prevents the field getting boggy, ready for next year’s cars!



We took ripe bluebell seed from Beatons Wood and scattered on the bare soil by the new Gate House, but it will be some years for these seeds to produce the bluebell bulbs and the flowers we love.

Brambles and wild raspberries plus grass has grown densely in the area we coppiced along the east side of the wood and we have cut what we could reach with our flail cutter, then some weeks later treated the re-growth, this will give light for the bluebells to emerge next spring.


Wandering deer

The two wire enclosures we erected in the coppiced areas of the Wood are to keep out the deer and rabbits to illustrate how they damage the new tree growth and decimate the seedling trees. They have been in place for a year and there is a notable difference in the re-growth here. The difference shows up in the rest of the wood where wandering deer have nipped the tips from the new shoots emerging from the stumps of the hornbeam we coppiced plus there is a lack of young seedling trees, probably eaten by rabbits. This interesting project will be on-going and can be viewed next spring.

The New Wood Walk will sadly have to be re-routed, as the landowner has sold the area adjacent to Beatons Wood and the new owners, who are not farmers, do not want the Bluebell Walk to go through their newly acquired property.


Millennium Walk

The conifers that run along the edge of the Millennium Walk have started to show signs of a disease that will eventually kill them. Our wood advisor has suggested that we take the tops out, leaving the trunks and lower branches to act as supports for growing honeysuckle, dog rose and other native creepers, but it will take a year or two for it to look as we envisage. The extra light by removing much of this dense canopy will really boost the oak trees that form the Millennium Avenue.


The weather

There is much to be done and planned in readiness for the 2014 Arlington Bluebell Walk, so periodically I aim to keep you aware of all that is involved to ensure we have a successful Walk. The main factor which is so critical and over which we have no control is the weather, but having had the last two seasons spoilt by being so wet in 2012 and such a late cold spring this year, surely we are due this coming season for a favourable year and being farmers we remain optimistic!

This message was added on Tuesday 8th October 2013

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