Well it’s been a very strange 15 months, with lockdown dominating everything. So we were pleased to be invited to visit our friends in Sussex who have a lovely property and a self-contained cottage in the grounds where we could safely stay.
Stan is a Horsham tree surgeon who works long hours to build his very successful business. We’re always fascinated by the work of these experts who inspire me and fill me with awe. When Stan and Sue bought the property it had been neglected for years, not least the 3 acres of overgrown woodland. As tree lovers, they wanted to keep as many trees as possible, whilst enhancing the landscape and improving the health of the environment.
Some tree removal needed to be undertaken and the big machinery was brought in to tackle most of this work. Stan had made videos so we were able to watch the progress without getting wet! Once he’d removed the dead and diseased wood, he cleared undergrowth and left some of the trunks and branches to rot as homes for insects. Tree stump removal was next, although some of these were left to be carved into woodland creatures, whilst others were turned into seats or left to rot. But some needed to come out so they were lifted by specialist machines or ground down. I particularly loved the owl that had been carved into the nook of an old tree – such a lovely touch and something that personalised that woodland.
So the wood was the first to be tackled, then Sue and Stan dug a large pond, which they surrounded by suitable trees and planted up the rest of the garden. There was still room for a couple of pony paddocks for Sue’s horses, so everyone was happy. And what a lovely tranquil setting they have created. We spent a week there in blissful peace, enjoying the Horsham area, which was even quieter than normal due to the lack of planes flying from Gatwick! Those who were off abroad may have missed the flights, but we loved the peace and quiet.
We’re now back home, inspired by our friends to tackle some of our trees and improve the land further. I feel it’s going to be a busy summer!