Happy New Year & Hawthorns

Happy New Year, and welcome to the new and improved Piles Copse website! We’re hoping to do more work on it in the coming months, adding useful and interesting resources about Piles Copse and its conservation.

This year, the annual post-Christmas conservation effort involved planting hawthorn seedlings provided by Moor Trees, a charity committed to restoring and replanting native and broadleaf woodland in the South West.

Hawthorns are hardy.  Across Dartmoor, a lone, gnarled hawthorn bent into shape by the wind is a familiar sight. However, before they develop their characteristic prickles, hawthorns need a bit of protection from grazing sheep, ponies and cattle to get established.

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One of the older, beautiful hawthorn specimens in Higher Piles

John and Lorna spent a couple of slightly windswept days between Christmas and New Year planting out over 100 seedlings.  They planted them in the small exclosures high up near the eastern boundary wall (it’s very rocky here, making planting difficult!), and in the exclosures around the sphagnum flushes at the south end of Higher Piles. We’ll be keeping an eye on the seedlings (and weeding the bracken around them) as winter turns to spring.