Thursday, 20 December 2012

Ash Dieback Disease

There has been lots in the press about ash-dieback disease and it now seems certain that Britain will see a huge loss of the ash trees right across the country over the next few years.  Being first reported in Eastern Europe in the early 90s, it has now been reported in nearly every European country. 

What are the symptoms?
  • Black/brown discolouration of the leaf base and midrib
  • Small lens shaped lesions or black spots on the bark of stems and branches
  • Trees with withered tops and shoots

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Start of the willow season

The willow season is with us again.  We are busy cutting and sorting the long rods into 6' to 11' lengths.  The willow has grown well this year, perhaps one thing that has actually benefited form all the rain!

Orders are coming in thick and fast along with a whole range of queries about willow and its uses.  We'll be busy cutting and delivering until the end of March now.

Office Move

We moved offices in the summer to the wonderful Malthouse in Standish.  It's perfect - lovely, airy offices with plenty of outside space.  We share the building with the Arboricultural Association (a nice fit with our business).

The views from the window include a huge, ancient yew tree which is playing host to hundreds of finches and field fares at the moment who are stripping it of berries, stocking up for the winter.

This heralds an expansion in the business, we have also taken on an extra member of staff this year, and a definite improvement in our working conditions.

Update to erosion control on the River Severn

We visited the live willow spiling on the River Severn (Sustrans cycle path) in the summer to see how it was growing.  It is doing amazingly well (see the 'after' photo) with lots of bushy growth.  It should help to capture the silt from the River (the River Severn is a heavily silt-laden water course) and prevent any further erosion to the bank.  

Sustrans have been very happy that the erosion control solution was low cost, low impact and did not necessitate the closing of the cycle path.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Reed planting in Norfolk

Coals to Newcastle came to mind when we were asked by M.Gaze Ltd to plant 15,000 reeds (Phragmites australis) at their waste treatment site in Norfolk.  The treatment beds were a refurbished set of horizontal gravel redbeds with a total area of 3,800m2. 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The end of the Willow Season

The willow season is well and truly over although we are still getting plenty of enquiries.  When the weather warms up and the days get longer, people start thinking about getting into their garden and planting – even though it might be too late for certain things.

Ideally, willow will be planted before the end of March, even earlier if it’s a particularly warm, dry spring.

This season we sold pretty much every last rod. 

Friday, 11 May 2012

Erosion control on the River Severn

There’s nothing I like better than a few days by the river – this time carrying out some erosion control works using willow spiling.  The site is near Maisemore, Gloucester and the erosion has been causing a section of the cycle path to fall into the river.  A few more metres and it would be the A417 that would be falling into the river. 
Sustrans contacted us to see if we could devise a low cost, low impact scheme and it seemed to me that using live willow was ideal as all along the lower reaches of the River Severn willow is the climax vegetation.  The river is full of silt; given a decent root mat from the willows, this silt will be deposited to help build up the bank.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Arundel site visit

I visited the Wildfowl & Wetland Trust at Arundel to look at the Wet Grassland project that we had worked on in the autumn of 2010 and it was looking fantastic!  The lapwings have taken to it in a big way with at least 6 nesting pairs and I enjoyed watching a brood of 4 young being shepherded around the scrape (one of the chicks spent a bit of time swimming) and the adults were busy chasing off anything that might be a threat – mostly Jackdaws. 

Friday, 9 March 2012

Wader scrape

We have been creating a wader scrape for the Birmingham Wildlife Trust in Solihull.

The rare breeds don't look too impressed but the work is going well thanks to the (mostly) dry weather.

When the weather is on your side and the machinery is all working properly, this is the best job to be in.

For more information on JPR Environmental go to our website 

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The willow season

The willow season is well underway - just one more month to go and we will have finished cutting and sending out bundles, sculpture kits and cuttings.

Some Salix daphnoides was cut and put in the office a few days ago - it is now leafing, rooting and covered in catkins (spreading pollen all over the desk).