Wednesday, September 23, 2009
About two years ago, the stands of Corsican Pine, Larch, and Sitka Spruce on Potterland Hill were clear felled, leaving the steep slopes and top of the hill bare with a fringe of older Scots Pines.
At least that's what one sees from the main A711 road between Palnackie and Auchencairn...
But coming down the glen from Gelston, the hill appears still clothed on its Northwest face, and what is more important, clothed with native broadleaf trees.
(NOTE: Map on left rotated to face Southeast to match photo - click to enlarge)
Potterland Wood appears as woodland (probably managed) on the earliest maps, and if one takes the time to explore this remnant, one finds hazel coppice stools of considerable age along with many undergrowth species indicative of continuous woodland cover.
There are also tubed trees, planted more than ten years ago. Many are oak, and some (unbelievably!) are sycamore. Happily, most of the oaks have done well and many of the sycamores haven't. Everything else, aside from the odd conifer belongs here, but the sycamores beg for removal. There are very few large older timber trees, but a few oaks have come back from stumps, presumably from the time an attempt was made to "coniferise" this "obsolete" coppice area in the misguided sixties. Fortunately, the Old Wood's life force prevailed. The area is rich in fungi as well.
Moving out into the recently felled area, there is a good amount of natural regeneration, and the Foresters have left a good few seed trees standing. I hope this is the intent, as these areas should be allowed to return to mostly native forest.
On a brief descent of the steep Southwestern slope, I noted seedlings of hazel, beech, hawthorn, oak, ash, holly, elm, birch, rowan, hemlock, and Norway spruce. Also left standing are several dead "perch" trees for owls or raptors.
All in all, a rather fine prospect as a neighbour for Taliesin! I'd be happy to lead a guided walk and fungus foray during the October gathering. Stout footwear (and walking-stick) advised, and we'll make sure to choose suitable weather!
More pictures from my recent stroll are here
And here for some of the understory plant life...
And here for some of the Historical context of the area...
Posted by ed iglehart at Wednesday, September 23, 2009