Somewhere between T-shirt and winter woollies

Well, it looks like we’re inching our way towards our first winter at Lynbreck. The last couple of weeks have brought the first frosts and the woodburner has to spring into action most evenings these days. But hang on a minute, we’ve still got some of autumn left ahead of us! Let’s not get too carried away…

We thought we’d present you with a picture selection from this summer and the first few autumn weeks.

Summer was a slightly rainy affair at first, but the ever-changing clouds and light made it well worth it (plus we now know where to dig extra drains to stop the veg patch from flooding!)

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The sunsets weren’t too bad either…

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Flora and fauna continued to keep things interesting. However we do seem to have a lot more plant pictures than animal, the former tend to be more obliging when it comes to having their picture taken.

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An exciting discovery of a flower called Creeping ladies tresses. It’s one of the few British orchids and is found mainly in the Highlands in remnants of Caledonian Forest. We spotted it on the heathery hillside. Now that definitely calls for more trees, don’t you think?

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However flowering heather is a sight to behold too!

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These wee chappies had fledged a few days before and are by now well on their way to warmer climes.

And then October arrived with beautiful displays of autumn fog and colour. Another upside of this time of year is that we actually get to see the sunsets – in summer they waited until well after bedtime…

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We spent a great day cutting and chopping firewood a couple of weeks ago which helped stock up our supplies for next winter (good to prepare early).

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I’ve got the sneaking suspicion that those two activities will become the story of our lives…

Treewilding our croft

Well….. a few days ago we had the phone call that we’ve been waiting many months for. Our Woodland Officer Graham called to let us know that the Forestry Commission have just approved our grant application to plant 17,400 native trees (roughly…….) on our western hillside.

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It looks so bare in the distance

 

For us this is a dream come true. Well buying the croft was a dream come true but actually now starting to see our plans begin to become a reality, is just so exciting (and maybe a little terrifying, but mostly exciting).

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But we know the trees want to be there and CAN be there – just look at that natural regen!!!!

 

Increasing the number of trees at Lynbreck has always been one of our priorities and the hill ground is the ideal place for it. We’re already getting lots of natural Scots Pine popping up so we know that the trees want to grow there. In fact we would have more if it weren’t for our resident Roe Deer and rabbits but hopefully that won’t be for much longer – we’re already making space in the freezer…….

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We need lots more of these

 

And on Friday we had Willie and Eleanor from The Woodland Trust out to visit. It’s absolutely great for our little croft project to have the support of one of the major UK woodland charities. We talked about a future landscape where our native cows, and maybe even our pigs, would graze through our new and existing woodlands as well as our open fields.

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Initially we hope to use our pigs to help snuffle through and break up areas of bracken. But who’s to say they can’t go into our woodlands? Or should that be wild boar by then…….

 

So there’s lots to do now and certainly plenty to keep us busy on the now darkening autumn nights.

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This is what our dreams are made of…. planting in the snow!

 

And in other news sadly we had to say goodbye to one of our original chickens this week. Poor little thing got sickly and the prognosis wasn’t so good so we had to send her to chicken heaven. It’s all part of having working animals and the more our agricultural plans become reality, the bigger those animals will get. Our neighbour Heather shared something that she was once told: ‘if you have livestock, you have deadstock’. It’s sad but very true and all part of the crofting deal….

But onwards and upwards. We’ve now set up a Lynbreck Croft Facebook page so feel free to ‘Like’ to follow us and share far and wide!

https://www.facebook.com/lynbreckcroft/

or on Twitter

https://twitter.com/lynbreckcroft

Remember it gets dark at 3pm up here in the deepest, darkest winter….. we need something to do until those trees arrive…..