Ulmus Wingham Robin

Ulmus Wingham = a complex hybrid elm cultivar featuring two Asiatic and two European species, bestowing it with an exceptionally high resistance to Dutch elm disease. Raised by the Istituto per la Protezione delle Piante in Florence, Introduced to the UK in 2011 by Dr David Herling, Resistant Elms, who trialled it successfully at Wingham in Kent. Later trialled by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Branch, Butterfly Conservation, as part of an assessment of DED-resistant cultivars as potential hosts of the endangered White-letter Hairstreak. Released for sale in the UK in 2019.

Robin = a complex human being combining the gene pools of Cole and Smith bestowing him with exceptionally high curiosity. Raised in the fair town of Oxford and introduced into the wild at Gribin Isaf as part of a two-year-olds plant trees assessment.

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Waxing Crescent – Wolf Moon due January 10th

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The Mists of Time

Between the solstice and the turn of the calendar

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time is in flux

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the weather is balanced

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not sure which way to tip

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Mists swirl and flow

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the future is obscured

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The Year of The Rabbit

We did not plan 2019 to be The Year of The Rabbit

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these things just happen.

They are ending the year leaving their “summer” quarters

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where they are quite happy

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but which can be less pleasant for us in the cold and wet

and

after much labour

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are moving indoors

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Taking up residence today are the bucks Rory

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and Stewart

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neither of whom seem all that sure about the change.

The does are not being subjected to that stress just yet

as one of them, Easter, is currently under vets orders

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The Arborators

Twenty-five years ago Gribin Isaf was a green field, identical to the sheep grazing all around. Within a few years, under earlier custodians, it was being developed to grow vegetables and increase diversity – this picture dates from 2000

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Many trees were planted and they have transformed the site:

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Included in the broad mix of native trees, to get some growth going quickly, were our landmark Eucalyptus and a number of conifers

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which now look like this

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We have approached any tree removals with caution, but today entrusted the wonderful people from Tree Mendus to remove these two

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to open up a new space

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One of the few trees at Gribin Isaf that predates that planting is this mature Ash

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Through storms of the last few years it had collected a few broken and twisted limbs

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So Tree Mendus gave it a bit of a tidy up

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So tonight, by the nearly full moon,

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when the Starlings assembled to head off to roost

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they found a slightly trimmed perch

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but hopefully one they will keep going for a few more years

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Winter visitors

Every winter flocks of exotically marked birds come from all over Eastern and Northern Europe to visit us

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Their numbers build as word spreads

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that people here actually provide free food for birds

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They pay for this bounty with sweet song

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and entertaining antics

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bringing energy to these dull days

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