We've been dissuaded from going ahead with our Sea Buckthorn project as there was a general consensus against it from local wildlife groups and a failure by Tendring District Council to make any comment at all. Why the 'anti-feeling'? Largely because it is seen as an invasive species and there is some debate about its provenance. I can agree with this - we don't want our fragile and embryonic sand dune system at Jaywick being overwhelmed with bird-sown sea buckthorn, then again, it contributes much more to feeding migrating birds than the existing tamarisk, itself a non-native invasive species. There was also an argument that where we wanted to plant the sea buckthorn - it was ecologically better to leave the cliffs as a meditterranean-type grassland - which is a very rare habitat.
Many thanks to Cllr Robert Bucke, tree warden for Kirby-le-Soken for forwarding these pictures of oaks planted to celebrate the coronation of King George VI in 1937. Starting top with Walton memorial gardens, Great Holland Green and Crescent Gardens, Frinton (x 2).
We've planted a lot of trees this year to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. I wonder what the trees will look like in one hundred years time. Here's a clue. This oak was planted 101 years ago in front of St Osyth Priory to celebrate king George V's coronation on 23rd June 1911.
I was walking near Brightlingsea recently and saw this den. Isn't this what kids used to build before computer games. I fell out of my tree house, cut my head and went to hospital to get stitches - that was before 'health and safety' crept in !!
Whilst the main aim of TWIG is to plant thousands of native Essex trees we also want to have some fun little projects too.
The latest to be launched is the brain-child of Lek Button of Clacton on Sea. With the help of TWIG she aims to plant some Sea Buckthorn trees (Hippophae rhamnoides).
It has been used for more than a thousand years and the Greeks called the plant 'Glittering Horses' - believing that it was the food of Pegasus and that it gave strength to race hoses.
There are male and female plants and the shrubs produce a valuable crop of berries with multiple uses - creams, oil, juices, jams and the leaves used as tea.
More news to come as we progress with the project.
We had a great meeting last week at Holland Mill Wood when the original TWIG team joined a Tendring Tree Warden visit to the site they planted. This is the first time they had all met again for 17 years !! As you can see from the background, the trees are flourishing and there are many self-sown saplings of some size from the original trees. From left to right - Maureen Gray, David Bain, Anne Bevan, Bob Bevan, Bob Seago, Di Humphreys, Janet Enever and John Ratford (off camera). A great team with a lot of energy and real inspiration to move the
This brochure is nearly 35 years old and shows that Tendring District Council has always been busy planting trees. You can read more about this booklet on the Elmstead Elms page.
Although not in Tendring, Sudbury Common Lands are an interesting place to visit. The meadows have been grazed continuously for nearly a thousand years and are the oldest known meadows in England.
In addition to the lovely willow pollards it is fun to see the cows in the River Stour grazing the willows - just as they did when Thomas Gainsborough (who was born in Sudbury) painted -
"Wooded landscape with cattle by a pool 1782."
This weekend saw some of the Tendring Tree Wardens visit Orchard Farm, near Boxted - using the public footpaths to view a fascinating fruit farm. We stopped at a very old damson orchard and as the photograph below shows - there were plenty of 'witch's brooms' in the trees.
Witch's Broom is a German word - derived from 'Hexenbesen' - Hex for witch and besen for broom. The witch's brooms in the trees are a dense mass of small shoots which can be caused by many things - fungi, oomycetes, insects, mistletoes, mites, nematodes, phytoplasmas and viruses. Infection often ocuring as a result of damage to the branches.
We also came across a Snake's Head Fritillary (see bottom picture). These can be common in people's gardens as planted exotics - but in the wild they are a rare sight. Found this one growing in a walnut orchard.