|Learning to drive a camera for decent night shots still on the 'to do' list. The trouble is remembering it all, when emerging fuggle headed from a tent in the middle of the night.|
|Encounter with Quercus and Ilex..|
The UK has one of the lowest rate of tree cover of any country in Europe. This might be understandable if we were comparing our relatively crowded lowlands and productive farmland..
And while we're about it; please; no more well intention-ed rows of trees of any flavour planted onto good food producing acreage... There is plenty of neglected lowland woodland that needs bringing back into a good state rather than planting 'amenity' trees on favourable cropping land, we need that to feed ourselves properly.
In addition carefully managed mixed species pastureland is home to many of the unsung heroes of the wee beastie variety; who may not be quite as glamorous as some of the proposed megafauna 'new kids on the block' but they are equally; if not more valuable in the ecological scheme of things.
Random sapling insertion is a well meaning; but not necessarily helpful action; so often undertaken as a first move; by many people who have managed to buy themselves a little piece of the countryside, and want to 'do their bit'.
The uplands on the other hand are; as a result of the depredations of too many sheep and deer; pretty much denuded. This has come about as a result of many factors many of which are cultural: large amounts of land being held in relatively few hands; combined with a 'horny handed' son or daughter of tradition; habit of overstocking sheep on our upland areas...
Perhaps a gradual retreat in some areas might be allowed to allow natural regeneration as in the Caledonian Forest regeneration project?
http://treesforlife.org.uk/forest/the-forest/ (its worth clicking the link just for the pretty pictures of Scotland)
Controversial with some; particularly as the hardy weather beaten upland farmer is one of those beloved far gazing creatures; of so much media fantasy deification.
No one likes to mention that he or she is probably making more dosh out of owning the land; than the woolly beasties that wander upon it...
And then there's possibly more than one or two hillwalkers; as might get a bit cross with "all these bleddy trees" getting in the way of our wide, yet unnatural, vistas.
I'm not unsympathetic to that view (or lack of) after our experiences last Summer; but no one is suggesting thick plantations of conifers, more allowing some regeneration of what would be there if the sheep and deer didn't consume every tree seedling that got over two inches high.
There was a bit of rudery opined re the pantalooned buffoons that swarm ( think the word might actually have been 'waddled' ...Ouch!) about the Caledonian uplands in pursuit of what should be a woodland creature; the so called 'Mighty Scottish Stag', that is, in fact, a shadow, sizewise, of what it would be if it was living in its proper sylvan habitat.
I was going to suggest 'Sheep stalking' as an alternative income stream and 'country pursuit' in the Welsh uplands, as a method of thinning out the population (of sheep not Welshfarmers dolt!)
But perhaps that's an idea; the time for which is maybe yet to come.....But; les moutons are pretty easy to sneak up on ...If the wind is in the right direction...
But, meanwhile, this lot have got some sensible, practicable ideas... http://www.moortrees.org/
|A tad moist underfoot.|
|Getting a foothold, just, on the road to Torla Spanish Pyrenees.|