As it turns cold and we start to ship bare root trees one of our native species is much in the headlines. Chalara fraxinea is here, a disease from Europe which threatens to do to our Ash tree population what Dutch Elm disease did to Elms. As various stable doors clang shut it does strike me that perhaps the government is not to blame – or at least, not in the way you might think. When consumers buy a “native tree” or “wildflower seed” they deserve to know where it’s from. If we can persuade them to buy from us rather than inadvertently end up with a “native” tree from Lithuania, “conservation” hedge plant from Holland or “wildflower” seed from Bulgaria then I’m doubly happy.
It’s tough out there at the moment. One of my favourite charities, the Grassland Trust, bit the bullet last month. There are precious few conservation charities focused on flora rather than fauna, and they will be sadly missed. As a consequence, though, we have managed to make a donation to Alderney Wildlife Trust’s woodland planting project. Good luck guys – it looks a great scheme. It’s also a great excuse for an Alderney Puffin photo.
We’ve announced the date of next year’s meadow day at Hookgate Cottage – 15h June. That’s assuming we’re not still knee deep in the builders’ mud! Do get in touch if you’d like to learn how to create and maintain a meadow area. Cost is £75.
Stock up on Honey!
The Beekeepers’ Association reckon that the miserable summer and honeybees’ other well publicized problems have led to a 72% fall in honey production this year. It’s a timely reminder to do your bit for bees by planting bee friendly plants. IBRA (the International Bee Research Association) have just published the excellent Plants for Bees – fight to get a copy!
We’ve continued to add weird and wonderful local fruit trees to our catalogue, and will start shipping them soon. We’re already starting to run short of some varieties, so don’t hang about if you’ve got your eye on something.