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Mar 22

Play Lane Millennium Green Spring Update 2024

Here we are in the week of the Spring equinox and I find I am reading my previous reports from September 2023 and January 2024. Without a doubt it has been the windiest and wettest period that I can ever remember since I started to work on the land in the Autumn of 1955.

Walking through the Green today, on the same pathways as my last report made in January, there is marked deterioration of the informal paths mainly due to high rainfall and heavy footfall. The ground is heavily waterlogged and surface water is slow to run off. The high winds have caused a lot of the deadwood in the canopy to fall to the ground and there are some areas where smaller trunks have sheared off twelve to fifteen feet from the ground.

The stream on the west boundary, which had suffered heavy washout during the Autumn, was very much wider on the former bends, showing how strong the force of the water had been during this Winter.

In the main part of the Green, the oaks seem to have held up well as their roots are deep and interlaced with others to give mutual support. The understorey has been sheltered by the bigger trees. I also noticed several sycamore saplings breaking leaf in the understorey which could be good news, replacing our ash stock.

The new boundary hedge has started to break leaf, as has the spindle tree.

We, like the rest of the Island countryside, have sustained a great deal of damage from storms and high rainfall, which has left its mark on our Green. However, we have to remember that change is continuous and although we humans very often fear change, Mother Nature uses change for opportunities. Perhaps we humans should do the same!

Ian Jefferies

Guardian and Consultant for PLMGT

22 March 2024