Tuesday 7 February 2012: lichen on Birch Bark
Quite a variety of lichens have established themselves on this birch bark, I think they are interesting and beautiful! These birch trees in the chicken run, were some of the first trees to be planted on the land, about 19 years ago. Initially spaces were made in the gorse thicket and trees like oak, ash, maple, holly, hazel and sweet chestnut were planted, the gorse which fixes nitrogen acted as a nurse crop for the young trees, providing nutrients and shelter. Last year some birch were thinned out for firewood, leaving the others more space to grow on. The leggy gorse also makes excellent firewood! This is the second winter we have been self sufficient in firewood, very satisfying!