Thursday, 18 April 2013
Spring seems to be forging its way in, despite elements of wintry weather still trying to hang in there! The signs are popping up everywhere round the Dunster estate, including the first glimpses of the bursting buds of its pink flowers that appear on our giant magnolia (the tallest in the country no less). The photo attached was taken in a previous year, but gives an idea of what a sight this is when in full flower, so we are getting the word out early so that people get a chance to see this spectacular giant, pink tree! To see the giant magnolia, head for Nutcombe Bottom Car Park to the south of Dunster, and you will find it along our tall trees trail. Hurry though as this spectacle only lasts a couple of weeks.
Thursday, 28 March 2013
Following the relatively dry, cold weather recently we have finally been able to carry out controlled burning- or swaling as it is known locally- just in time to avoid birds nesting season. The site, which is managed directly by The Crown Estate, is called Hopcott Common, to the south of Minehead and is one of the country's last refuges for the Heath Fritillary butterfly. This year, through the Exmoor National Park 'moorkeeper' project we, and the other landowners on Wootton Ridge have pro-actively cutting scrub and burning to keep it from encroaching further in order for the food plants of the Heath Frit to be able to grow more easily. As a result the populations of Heath Frits are doing well on Hopcott, but it is an ongoing effort to keep the scrub at bay. Though it may look destructive, Swaling if managed correctly can be a very effective way of controlling scrub, and the desired vegetation, such as heather and bilberry, will soon recover, and even be re-invigorated as a result of the overlying scrub being taken back.
Monday, 25 March 2013
On friday the 22nd March, 60 children and teachers from Westover School, Brigwater and Alison Nimmo, The Crown Estate's Chief Executive joined us for an afternoon of forest fun to celebrate the national launch of the Forests for the Future education pack and online resource. Despite the weather we had a great time building dens, seeing how many 'hugs' wide the tallest tree in England is (12 if you were wondering!) and using all 60 of the visitors to measure out the length of the tallest tree on the ground- it was pure chance that 60 people joined us, and that the tree is 60m tall! Now we have officially launched the pack we are looking at further promoting it, and so will be looking to work with Local Education Authorities to train teachers on how to use the pack and work through the activities. Please feel free to contact us for more info.
Thursday, 14 March 2013
Friday, 15 February 2013
Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Due to the extremes of snow and high winds we have a number of fallen trees and blocked paths. We are in the process of surveying the damage and dealing with the issues, but be aware that you may encounter delays or need to divert from your intended route- particularly on those routes that are further from Nutcombe Bottom Car Park. If you wish to report an issue please contact us here, or call the estate office on 01643 821309
Friday, 18 January 2013