The Faifley Volunteer Group rallied to get the paths of the Auchnacraig woods clear after our recent strong winds. It can be painful to see some of the heavy injuries the trees sustain in a storm like that, especially if you’re forced to cut them further, but in a healthy woodland this is the sort of disturbance that can breathe all sorts of new life into the environment. Nutrients released from dead wood give a whole host of arthropods and fungi their chance to enrich the forest floor. Gaps in the canopy allow more light to reach the forest floor. Seeds or small plants that have been biding their time suddenly leap at the opportunity and put on magnificent amounts of growth in the spring. This burst of decay and growth continues at a fast pace until some trees manage to again close the gap and the woods go back to their previous rhythm.
Our TCV volunteers want to make sure that this whole process is safe and accessible for you to witness. We got to the task of clearing the paths of fallen trees, piecing the long logs of dead wood, and throwing them back into the forest to return their borrowed nutrients to the next generation. We even managed to save some cuttings from some of the fallen willow and replant them. Hopefully that tree will live on in the form of several healthy trees in a few seasons.
We hope others come to enjoy the woods, especially now in all their beautiful changing colours, but we do have to advise caution. Always be aware of the danger of walking under trees if there is decent wind. Take note of any damaged trees or branches still stuck in the canopy but that could fall in a strong gust.