Tag Archives: Ash

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The Track a Tree phenology project continues for a third year in Hillhouse wood

As keen readers of this blog, and my Mum, will know, for the last two years I have done field work for this project.  This involves visiting some specific trees (four in my case) more or less weekly throughout the spring to record data about what is happening.  ‘Happening’ stuff involves the stage of bud burst and leaf break, and the numbers of specific species of flower that are showing underneath the tree.  By capturing this data at different sites in the UK, the project enables differences in the timing of ‘Spring’ to be rigorously identified across the country and between years.  It ran for two years to support a PhD project at the University of Edinburgh, and I’ve been glad to hear that it is continuing for a third year, at least, even though Christine has gained her qualification. Continue reading

The TrackaTree phenology project is up and running again in Hillhouse Wood

So – the wind has veered to the north, wintery squalls are scudding across the sky, and thus the obvious thing to do is a Trackatree field visit to see how Spring is getting on.  And I can report, with no little excitement, that things are stirring in the TrackaTree parts of Hillhouse Wood.  Continue reading

BBC Countryfile comes to Hillhouse Wood, and I meet Tom

A few days ago a film crew from BBC Countryfile spent several hours in Hillhouse Wood, near Colchester.  They were filming a clip relating to Ash die back, and the Woodland Trust (who owns the wood) had suggested that our wood would be a suitable one to use.  This was on the basis that a) it has mature Ash trees, b) it is easily accessible, and c) (I suspect) that the Friends of Hillhouse Wood, a local support group, would likely provide someone to look after the filmers and make sure they didn’t get lost / trash the wood / hold an all-night rave. Continue reading

Track a Tree visits to Hillhouse wood in April (so far)

It’s been a slightly off month so far, phenology wise.  The weatherfolk tell us that this Spring has been relatively sunny, dry and warm.  I don’t doubt them and their instruments, but feel that this doesn’t tell the whole story – which also needs to encompass ‘cold nights’.  Continue reading

Two more Track a Tree visits that were less than relaxing: Citizen Science the ‘challenging’ way

Things ‘should’ be happening rapidly now, as my trees and their ground flora make up for lost time.  However, after a teasing couple of almost Spring-like days we’re back to cold, cloudy and uninviting weather.  So, as a result, progress is less rapid than one might hope.

Nevertheless I’m still trying to get down to the wood every 2-3 days ‘just in case’.  Continue reading

Frenetic TrackaTree action at Hilhouse Wood

After today’s Trackatree visit to Hillhouse Wood someone of my advanced years needed a lie down.  Everything in the wood more or less stood still for the first half of March, due to the consistently cold temperatures, which rather took the pressure off my TrackaTree monitoring visits.  But you know that, once things warm up a bit, nature will make up for lost time. Continue reading

A bit of Spring is finally in evidence in Hillhouse Wood

So at last Chiffchaffs have fought their way back to Hillhouse Wood – they clearly haven’t found the recent cold and dull weather to be to their liking.  Me neither!  There were three singing this afternoon in just the north side of the wood.  So Spring has now ‘officially’ started, as far as I’m concerned. Continue reading

Spring is arrested in Hillhouse Wood

At the moment I’m in Hillhouse Wood just about every day.  This is for two reasons; firstly, I’m keeping an eye on progress with my four trees in the Track a Tree phenology project (I recommend it).  Secondly, I’m waiting for ‘Spring to start’.  Continue reading

My first Track a Tree recording visit this year – droning on about this great phenology citizen science project

Last year I found out about the excellent Track a Tree phenology project too late, in that bud break had already started to happen before my first visit to our local Hillhouse Wood.  So this year I was determined to start early enough to catch this when it first happened.  Needless to say, I nearly failed – I had meant to go early last week but my disorganised lifestyle did for that. Continue reading