The area of trees on the banks of the Muddisdale burn was planted as a Millennium project involving all the schools in Orkney. A variety of young trees which are known to survive in sheltered conditions here were planted and nearly 20 years on the area is a well-loved, easily accessible place to walk and cycle.
I have followed with interest the winter and spring life of these trees. Here are some piccies of some of them.
These are Ash trees, and their tight, black buds are still not out.
One tree, or bush, that grows very well here is the Willow. It loves wet roots and stands up well to the winds.
There are a
few Beech trees. Like the Ash, Birch and
Alder, they do not grow very high, because of the winds.
Much planning went in to the creation of the woodland. The path twists and turns, and you get many mini vistas.
One of the great colonisers in Orkney is the Rosa rugosa. This proliferates by suckers, and soon fills up space. Some hate it, but I love it! Flowers all summer and beautiful big hips in autumn.
The end of the area abuts the golf course – you can see a blue flag in the centre of the photo. The grass and reeds here are not cut, and in winter the orange stems give a lovely contrast to green grass.
There are several varieties of birch all over the area, often providing shelter for less hardy species! I love the Silver Birches, and often find I am humming Land of the Silver Birch as I go past. (No beaver here though!)
In amongst the various Birches are some Hazel bushes. They are sheltered by the birch and seem to be growing well.
Finally, a couple of photos of the Alder trees. The first shows the small ‘cones’, the fruiting bodies, and the second shows some leaves on their way out, taken the other day.