Monday, March 7, 2016

Main February Features

February began with a training visit from the very impressive new Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter (now run by the Bristow group). It's always reassuring to know this competent team are not too far away should they be needed!'

It has been a month of very mixed weather, with a couple of relatively short, sharp storms, as well as some more settled spells. At one point we thought the island was just beginning to dry out...that didn't last too long! On the 8th, a combination of big spring tides and gale force winds (steve measured 99mph on the mountain!) created conditions for some pretty spectacular waves which threw quite a lot of beach deposit around the coast.

  Steve has been working on felling a few trees at the east end of the plantation, initially freeing 3 oak trees from being smothered by brambles, and giving them some space and light to grow. The felled Sitka's have been cut into lengths in order to season for fuel, while all the branches were chipped to produce mulch. The plantation is now about 40 years old (the felled trees had about that many rings), which is the typical lifespan for Sitka spruce. two of the 10 felled trees were pretty dead. The plan is to replant new Sitka Spruce in the more open spaces, whilst continuing to fell a few trees each year. This will ensure that there is a sustainable rotation and still leave plenty of habitat for the species that use it, like Fire crests.

Most of the branches were chipped, and several dumpy bags were added to my new "no dig" veg garden as a top mulch:

 I have been continuing to build up stock for the craft shop, and have given the inside a much needed lick of paint. I managed to get to the mainland for a Felting course, concentrating on improving on felt pictures, hopefully capturing some of the seascapes and landscapes of Enlli.

. On my way back I made a detour to visit Rachel and Ben in Falmouth. The fields surrounding their caravan are yellow with daffodils at the moment - here are some of Ben's images: