Made by the Forge’s Richard and I met with Michael Strand, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Development Officer in Leavenheath. We drove down a long stony track and through a gate, which opened up into a huge expanse of wild countryside. It was raining, as it duly does when we go to see the trees being planted by the SWT! We pledged a long time ago now to plant a tree for every order received. We still do this and attend the tree planting personally. It takes place once a year with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and this year a new green lane is being planted.
The rain was steadily falling as the wind billowed around the volunteers who seemed in good spirits regardless of the weather. The men and woman were on a Team Building day away from their desks and warm office. This was the Customer Service Team from UK Power Networks. The volunteers are allocated two days a year to work with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.
The planting was at Kingsland Copse, part of Ager Fen and Spouces Vale and was planned so that the new hedgerows would one day connect to the existing hedges of trees providing habitat for all sorts of species, especially the dormice which in recent years have dwindled in number.
We were told that the dormouse is doing very well in this area due to their re-population of the habitat provided for them. They eat a mixture of flowers, nectar, hawthorn, autumn berries, blackberries and haws. Creating this new green lane would provide more of a playground home for them.
The rough mix of trees planted was approximately 50% hazel, 25% blackthorn and a selection of buckthorn, dog rose and oak which, we were told, are good for bats because they grow bigger than the other tree species.
It’s all good news and Michael told us that the whole area that the Suffolk Wildlife Trust now own and manage around Ager Fen is now home to the nightingale again. It was absent for around ten years but is now back so this in itself shows the area is becoming rich in resources in which the wild world needs to flourish.