Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Recent planting - Langdale

Recently we have been out enjoying Lakeland’s finest weather - rain! We hope you have too!

Some of the volunteers braving the weather to help us! 

Our team along with help from volunteers successfully managed to plant 50 juniper (Juniperus communis) trees at Middlefell in Great Langdale. We also planted around 30 other assorted species of tree including Crab Apple, Hazel and Rowan (Malus sylvestris, Cratageous monogyna, Corylus avellana and Sorbus aucuparia).
Juniper's poor regeneration is of such concern, that it has been included in the Biodiversity Action Plan as a priority species for Cumbria.

View from Middle Fell our site for the day.

Various schemes, aimed at conserving juniper, will hopefully safeguard the long term future of this threatened species (see our previous blogs on Juniper planting & conservation).

Newly planted Juniper 

The planting of the additional 30 native trees in keeping with the area will help maintain the biodiversity and wildlife value otherwise in decline.

What is Juniper? – One of the three conifers native to England, can you name the other two (answer below).

Spot the Ranger.

Juniper was one of the first tree species to "colonise" Cumbria after the last ice age. Juniper has been a prominent feature on this landscape ever since.
Juniper is best suited to the extreme weather conditions, and poor soil found on the Lake District fells. Having said this Juniper is still in decline in both Cumbria and the U.K.

One of the reasons for Junipers decline is that many of the trees found in Cumbria are now very old; (upwards of 200 years old). Unfortunately, the few seedlings that they do manage to reproduce are also heavily grazed by sheep, rabbits and deer.

Pete and Liam spotted planting down slope, the trucks can be spotted in the back ground, we were working high up the fell side.

Juniper is an important habitat; as it supports, or is host to over 40 types of insects, including the Juniper Carpet Moth. The caterpillars feed exclusively on juniper. Larvae of the Juniper Berry Miner Moth feed on  juniper seeds.
Juniper's dense prickly foilage provides good cover and protection for nesting birds.
The Ring Ouzel, an upland bird of the thrush family, feeds up on ripe juniper berries before its Autumn migration to Southern Spain, or the Atlas Mountains in North West Africa.

Answer – Scots Pine & Yew join Juniper as the three native British conifers.

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