The 'Sheila Cross' commemorative bench usually located down near the two ponds was recently power washed. It looked a lot better after that, but unfortunately the cleaning revealed burn damage to part of the bench.
I am pleased to report that the bench has now departed to main campus, where it will be sanded down and given a couple of coats of protective teak oil before it returns all shiny and new.
This means that for a couple of weeks we will have even less places to sit within the arboretum. Please be patient. The bench will soon be back. There are also plans to provide some additional seating by the pond area in the coming months.
Our badgers seem to be rather active at the moment.
The mating period is between July and mid-September when the pair of badgers will become more excitable and energetic than usual.
They often go to favourite play areas in the locality and sometimes their romping flattens large areas of grass and plants.
After they have mated, the pair and their cubs may leave the current sett and retire to another that they share with two or three other families. Before going they spend time cleaning out the old sett for their return in the autumn time.
Now that we are rapidly approaching September and the summer season is officially coming to a close there is a feeling of change in the air.
Fungi are beginning to pop up here and there as the weather cools. Leaves are also beginning to change colour on the trees and there is an increasing amount of leaf fall.
For regular visitors this brings with it the chance to watch these changes as they occur. Many of our trees will begin to display striking leaf colours over the coming weeks, including the beeches and maples. An added treat whilst enjoying a peaceful walk in the arboretum.
Another couple of tropical downpours on Saturday. A little worrying as our paths have only just been re-instated after the torrential rains in July created crevices in the old surfacing.
The accompanying video shows the extent of water flow that the right hand path is subjected to. It seems to have borne the brunt okay this time, but I should imagine there may be some filling of potholes next week.
A few months ago the volunteers cleared the brambles around one of the Field Maples near the top of the arboretum.
We discovered that the tree identification tag hung on the branches indicated that this was the tree that Sir David Attenborough planted during the opening ceremony for the arboretum, on the 23rd April 1997.
The university courteously decided that a commemorative plaque was only proper and one was commissioned. Today the plaque arrived and I was happy to fix it into it's rightful position. Keep an eye out for it !
The arboretum could do with some more seating so how wonderful that we have just acquired two beautiful, comfortable and sturdy benches.
A generous donor and a friend of the arboretum, who wishes to remain anonymous, kindly delivered a couple of very nice two seater benches. The benches were personally delivered on Wednesday afternoon and safely stored in the classroom overnight.
Thursday morning our volunteers assembled them and they were placed beside the path opposite the European Hornbeam. Friday I anchored one into its final position and today the second one.
For some more pictures and information please click on the link below.Volunteering Blog - Thursday 10th August 2023
This morning, at about 7:30 am, on opening up the arboretum, I disturbed what looked like a female Muntjac deer. She was by the Field Maples and on hearing my approach moved gracefully and swiftly towards the wooded border on the Knighton Hall side. A visitor informed me today that he had spotted this roe at the bottom of the arboretum on his circuit.
Early morning is a very good time for spotting deer, foxes and woodpeckers. It is essential to move as quietly as possible, but I rarely spot a creature before it has spotted me or heard my approach. It is usually the movement of the animal to safety that first alerts me to their presence !