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Yorkshire Arboretum Newsletter - Issue 2 - August 2013

Yorkshire Arboretum Newsletter - Issue 2 - August

MEMBERS NEWSLETTER EMAIL ADDRESSES PLEASE We try to use email wherever possible to conserve funds. If we don’t already have your email address please email us or phone 01653 648598 Inside this issue: Bulb planting - help needed! 2 ...and bulbs for sale 2 Yorkshire Arboretum Shop News from Ray Wood Wild About Wood Festival 2 2 3 WELCOME What a contrast between this summer and last! When I arrived here a year ago (and for months afterwards) much of the arboretum was a terrible quagmire, but this year we and the trees have basked in beautiful warm sunshine. There hasn’t even been enough rain to test our new drainage lines – I hope those aren’t famous last words! Having been here now for a full year I’ve had the chance to see the arboretum through a cycle of seasons, which has been a great pleasure. On a site of this size there is a lot to see and explore and I strongly recommend that you vary the route you take on each visit. Even going the opposite way round helps one see things in a new light. POWER CABLE REMOVAL During the next couple of weeks the electricity cables that cut across the western end of the arboretum will be removed, greatly improving the views across to the sandbanks and avoiding damage to the collection. With the UK Champion of the extremely rare Abies hickelii, and many other interesting specimens growing below the lines we couldn’t risk having them lopped indiscriminately by a line maintenance team. New cables have already been buried underground along our boundary, where August 2013 Preparations are in full swing for the fifth Wild About Wood festival, our largest annual fundraising event. Entry for members is, as always, complimentary so we hope you’ll be able to join us over the weekend. We’re also putting the finishing touches to a varied programme of events and activities that will run through the autumn, giving the opportunity to learn more about the arboretum, its plants and wildlife, or maybe a new skill. More details are overleaf and on the arboretum’s website. I hope you’ll find much of interest in this programme and look forward to welcoming you on your next visit. John Grimshaw director@yorkshirearboretum.org they should stay safely out of sight and mind for many years. We’re extremely grateful to Northern Power Grid for carrying out this work free of charge, and doing it so carefully. Members’ coffee mornings What’s On at a glance Horticultural lecture series Seasonal highlights: The Director’s perspective 3 3 3 4 Volunteering 4 WILDFLOWER MEADOWS As part of our policy to enhance the biodiversity of our grassy areas, and to reduce the labour and cost of mowing, we significantly reduced the areas mown this spring. The result has been the appearance of wildflowers in many new areas. On the sandbanks harebells have been flowering beautifully, although they’ve never previously been recorded here, and many orchids appeared in unsuspected places too. Narrow pathways have enticed visitors into different parts of the arboretum, encouraging exploration of its many corners. Now the hay has been taken by the Fargher family: it will be used for winter feed for their Aberdeen Angus cattle, whose meat is available from the Castle Howard Farm Shop. Prunings from the arboretum 4 The next phase of the Buglife sponsored wildflower project is underway. We have sprayed areas of grassland to remove the coarse grasses, and will soon scarify it and sow it with a flower-rich seed mixture. Parts of the arboretum will look a bit piebald for a while, but will soon green-up, and be much more attractive in the future.