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Country notes for March 2022

This is the month when, towards the end, winter moves into spring. However, at this time of the year the end of winter can often feel like spring and the start of spring can often feel like winter! The last few weeks have seen a huge variety of different weather types. There have been dry spells, wet spells, warm days, cold days, frosty mornings – but no snow, as yet! Most memorable of all will be Storm Eunice which brought the strongest winds for a very long time, together with a certain amount of destruction to property. If you were one of those who suffered damage to home or possessions you do indeed have our sympathy.

The most obvious general destruction though, was the sight of so many trees brought to the ground. In many cases the visible signs were of branches and twigs littering the ground. However, some venerable old trees also came crashing down, and what a sad sight it was to see trees, which have withstood the ravages of several centuries, brought so suddenly to an end. Had it been the nesting season there would have been many fledglings and other creatures that would have suffered as well, but during the dormancy of winter this was not the case.

Trees on highways and paths needed to be cleared, but many also fell where they did not cause much of an obstruction. In the case of these trees, those that are left may, eventually, provide new habitats for mammals, birds, insects and plant life. Woodpeckers will no doubt eventually enjoy probing the dead wood for grubs. Other creatures may find among the fallen debris somewhere to make home and in winters to come others may find shelter where none was before.

It is an ill wind, they say, that gathers no moss!


Andrew Snowdon

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