A wet start to the weekend here in Cornwall (don’t know what else I expected, really!) but we managed a few hours on the land before the rain really set in and Ashley retreated to his ‘workshop’ and I back home to de-mud the dog and get some studying done.

But what we DID manage to get done felt quite exciting! A local tree surgeon (who we have very helpfully become friendly with) donated around 20 tiny oak saplings to us, that had been left over from a project of his, and today we started planting them! We got 8 in before the heavy rain set in, and aim to get the rest in tomorrow.

Squint and you’ll see the sapling! Ashley is very pleased!!

We have a couple of majestic oaks bordering the land, and hopefully by the time they start to die back, these will be almost as magnificent.

Although wet and miserable, the wildlife is started to get in to the swing of spring. Today we saw and heard a greater spotted woodpecker and our resident kingfisher (who was very busy!). We can’t wait for the day that we are in the right place at the right time to sneak a photo of him to share, but just seeing him darting up and down the river is such a treat. Certain plants are brightening up, promising excitement of spring growth.

Opposite-leaved golden-saxifrage in the woodland.

This afternoon, Ashley started a woodland experiment. He had seen a video of someone propagating hazel with cuttings (although they did admit to limit success rates) and wanting more hazel in our woodland and hedges, decided that it would do no harm to give it a try ourselves.

Hazel experiment

He has taken all sorts of different sizes of cuttings, from chunky stems to wispy branch tips. If none take, we will have to try the layering method – although that will be tricky with the locations of our only hazel trees. We have tried planting the hazelnuts that fall in autumn, but the squirrels always seem to find them! Once the tractor is out of the polytunnel, I might actually be able to use that for protection!