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Through the Seasons: The Field







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This sequence covers the establishment of our little nature reserve from Early 1991 to Summer 2007. The purchased & fenced cow pasture was inevitably called 'The Field' and the name has stuck, however inappropriate it now is

The Field is 2 acres (about a 100 metre square) and you mostly see a centre section looking from the South West. The dates on early images are estimates but once the date number appears they are accurate. Images quality varies a lot - starting with scanned slides and then moving through a variety of digital media

The first few shots show the field, fencing (arranged by the farmer) and hedge planting, and then some views of the mostly bare-root stock planted, and ponds. We laid out a 10 metre grid using bamboo poles at each junction to help us follow our planting plan. Image 3 shows then all flattened by a storm! Image 5 shows the sudden appearance of plastic protection to save the trees from rabbit damage.

The sequence continues with shots most of which include 'The Elm' - a tree we found blocking a ditch which we transplanted (at great effort) to near the centre of the plot. It established well, something which in retrospect is quite surprising, and dominated the field for several years. We have fixed a series of Great Tit boxes to it over the year which have been systematically destroyed by Great Spotted Woodpeckers. The tree eventually succumbed to Dutch Elm disease, but it's shoots are still about. Our own hedging is predominantly Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Hazel, Dog Rose, Elderberry, and Blackberry, but the native hedging of the area includes a lot of Elm which shoots and dies in rotation.

The main sequence is taken from a standardised position at an upstairs window of the house and shows the changing seasons and year to year development. From the roughly weekly sets we have picked out events where possible:-

Sometimes these overlap, don't happen, are spread over a number of shots, or are spectacular, all dependent on seasonal weather, management variations, and climate change.

Looking at the details slowly is interesting, but you lose sight of the yearly variation. Try pressing the Faster button a few times to see each years surge of growth reaching ever greater height and density.

If you found this sequence of interest the sequence called North West Landscape is a view directly to the left of the main sequence with a very slight overlap. It covers a single year in much more detail (and a mostly different selection of plants).

Our standard copyright applies - see Copyright & Legal. Anyone needing access to any or all of the original multi-megabyte images should email us.