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15th November 2016

El Sueño de la Razón

By Tim Hill

Cattle grid at Thoresby

Tim Hill returns to Thoresby, part of the former Royal Forest of Sherwood, to see the oak featured in his last two blogs Mal sueño and the veteran oak and Sueño en la floresta.

Welcome back to my bosky corner. We parted last time to the mellifluous strains of Agustín Barrios dreaming in the forest.  Dreams, reality and the distance between the two is an apt description of the challenges facing the Estate in reintroducing wood pasture and recruiting fresh cohorts of trees – to become the veterans of tomorrow –  within a grazing regime.

If you’re not quick, your saplings can end up like this….

by Tim Hill

Sapling oak in tube on grazed land

…rather than this:

by Tim Hill

Oak protected by shelter

These are pretty substantial and expensive shelters but absolutely necessary to protect saplings against browsing and trampling by the Longhorns.  We shall be installing over 100 in all and will modify nature slightly by relocating oak seedlings from beneath the shade of their ancient parent and into open space.

Now that summer has turned to autumn, what’s become of my old friend?

By Tim Hill

‘Mal Sueno’ in autumn

Still stylishly coiffed, with auburn highlights; it’s been a busy summer.  When I passed by the other afternoon, a little owl peeped out at me.  Noctule and Brown long-eared bats regularly use the woodland rides and in an adjacent area of ancient trees, Leisler’s bats have been detected. The Nottinghamshire bat group is also using the area as a recording site for their Barbastelle Project.

So it is with trepidation that I return to Goya and his etching El Sueño de la Razón produce monstruos; the sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

By Francisco Goya

El Sueño de la Razón produce monstruos

How different the sensibilities of late 18 Century Spain to today!  Owls were considered stupid and bats….where do I start?

See it rather from the perspective of the enlightened Woodward, struggling to knit together all the interconnected strands and produce a coherent management plan!

Posted by: Tim Hill Tim Hill is a trustee of the ATF. He recently retired as Forestry adviser to the Thoresby Estate, Nottinghamshire. where he managed 800 hectares of ancient woodland (230 of which is currently managed as wood pasture) in the Sherwood Forest.

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