A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds


Friday, 24 October 2014

Colours in the autumn evening sunshine.

After a stormy afternoon, just before dark we were treated to an amazing effect in the south Cotswolds.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Beech Mast

There appears to be a very high quantity of beech nuts on the ground this autumn known as mast.
Beech does not always produce ripe nuts but in mast years such as this year trees bear thousands of ripe nuts which provide a feast for wildlife.
We seem to be crunching over nuts everywhere on our woodland walks and even in the garden. It is not clear why mast years occur but weather may be a factor

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Teasels


 Teasels were used in textile processing many years ago. The seed heads made a natural comb for woollen cloth where they were used to raise the nap. Nowadays teasels have been replaced by metal cards but seeing them growing in the countryside reminds us of years gone by. Today they provide a useful source of food for small birds like the Goldfinch.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Woodland Clearance

 Scenes reminiscent of rainforest slash and burn as the National Trust burns brash wood in Woodchester Park to clear woodland to restore pasture for cattle and sheep.
Their aim is to recreate the historic parkland landscape and to encourage the rare lesser horseshoe bats which are already present in the park.

Friday, 3 October 2014

End of Summer?

Rain forecast but what a fantastic warm dry September we had with only 12mm rain recorded in our garden.
Our borders are still looking good but sadly it can't last

Monday, 29 September 2014

Harvest and new planting.

In a few days a field of maize is harvested then hedges trimmed and the ground is ploughed  harrowed planted and rolled. Modern farming certainly gets on with the job!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Autumn colours starting

 We are past the equinox and autumn is here so the spectacular colours of deciduous trees are starting as they prepare to shed their leaves.
Pictures  taken at Westonbirt Arboretum

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Blackberry and Apple Jelly


On our walk around the Uley valley recently we picked some juicy blackberries. With the windfall apples  I had the perfect ingredients to get some jelly making going. After boiling the fruit until squishy it was time to strain it overnight to catch the juice.

Then measured the juice and boiled it with the appropriate amount of sugar until setting point was reached.


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Blackberry Harvest

 This year has been particularly good for blackberries and the hedgerows are laden with juicy ripe berries.Now is the time to get out and collect this delicious harvest!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Ancient Trees

We are lucky in living near to the semi natural ancient woodland of Coaley Wood and the footpath through the wood passes this coppiced beech tree which has been recently recorded as an ancient tree.
This tree has stood on this spot for hundreds of years  and has survived because it has been coppiced or cut down for timber and allowed to regrow from the original stump. The adjacent has been quarried for stone and the roots of the tree undermined somewhat but the tree has survived with six stems from the old trunk.
 Long may it continue!