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Wednesday, November 4th 2020

Stormy weather last weekend caused one of the old Larch trees at the top of the woodland to fall. It was close to the footpath and so although it was caught up on adjacent trees, it was a hazard and had to be removed.  This is a shame as they are beautiful trees and of great value to wildlife; the seeds are eaten by squirrels and a number of birds, including Siskin and Redpoll. The caterpillars of many moths feed on the foliage, including the Case-bearer moth and Larch pug. Larch tortrix moth caterpillars eat the cone scales. They are an unusual conifer because their needles turn golden and fall off in Autumn (often they are mistaken to be dying).

Luckily, this one was not too far from where work is being carried out in the woodland. The tree was cut into manageable pieces and the brash went onto the bonfire. In European folklore, Larch was said to protect against enchantment and the wearing and burning of Larch was thought to protect against evil spirits!

Due to its high resin content, it is particularly durable in wet conditions so the tree trunk was used to edge the pathway next to where it had grown. It should last for several years.

Further along on the green route, the footpath is cloaked in fallen needles making the path inviting. 

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