Waiting for “Spring” Watch

27 February 2020

These last few months we have been busy planting trees, 10,000 off them! Similar to last year, we have been replanting hedges and gaping up existing lines from North Baldutho all the way to Ovenstone livery yard. With the help of local casual labour, we have planted mostly beech (Fagus sylvitic) and holly (Ilex aquifolium) along the roads, we also planted new species such as alder (Alnus glutinosa) and silver birch (Betula pendula) in some of the more wet gaps in the hedges, in view to perhaps used their high in mineral foliage into the cattle’s diet by letting them reach the overgrowth in years to come. Some wild cherry (Prunus avium) and hazel (Corylus avellana) were also planted to add diversity to the already establish hawthorn (Crataegusmonogyna) and blackthorn (Prunus spinosa).
The BBC Countryfile took place on Balcaskie estate in November. It was a great experience and a privilege to be showcased briefly during the program. Helping the television crew to film what they were looking for was an eye opener on the things we sometime take for granted, like a covey of grey partridges taking off from a game cover to simply disturbing a few deer in the woods or witnessing a buzzard chasing his prey. We have uploaded the real stars of the show on this blog and will try to show more wildlife in the future.

Dancing Partridge

During January, we helped the gardening team to plant and extend one of the woodlands around Balcaskie. Because of the generous number of deer, hare and other tree nibbling species the use of tree guards is obligatory. This does create an issue considering the guards are made of plastic and for the greater part single use. Some biodegradable guards do exist but for the moment their lifespan is too short to be of real use for us. Mentioned in the gardens blog recently, we will simply add that this project was a great opportunity to share knowledge and experiences with other members of the Balcaskie team and look forward to working with all of them on other similar projects.

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