Lochend Wood, in Dunbar, is a shadow of its former self, but it’s still beautiful, and it’s now owned and managed by the people of Dunbar, through the Dunbar Community Woodland Group. It started off as a large private estate, with a big house – Lochend House – which is long gone. The last major replanting was done during WWII, when timber trees, mainly sycamore, were planted. The timber was never harvested, and the mature trees, together with a lot of second growth seedlings now form the woods. In the 1990s and 2000s developers bought up parcels of land, felled the trees, and built houses, which now fill the south-east margins of the town. However, corridors of woodland, together with larger sections, still remain, and are now in safe hands. A major programme of thinning and replanting with a mix of native trees starts this year. The woods are well-used by people, mainly for walks, but other activities, sensitive to the needs of the wild inhabitants, are also encouraged. So in April the newly reformed Dunbar Arts Trust, under its events arm, will be holding a weekend of art and poetry in the woods. I’ll be hosting a renga, and hopefully leading a wildflower poetry walk, artists will be collaborating on other projects, and we’ll be holding an event to plant tree seeds in egg cups for later planting out.
In the meantime, this is a photo taken on Sunday. The snowdrops are not quite at their best yet – next week will see them reach full height and open for pollination. Birdsong is loud and continuous these days, as they set up territories. I heard chaffinch, great tit, bluetit, coal tit, robin, wren and rooks on Sunday, and saw dozens of blackbirds. I didn’t hear woodpeckers, but they’ll be there soon – maybe next week. The distinctive laughing of the yaffle – the green woodpecker – is something I usually hear, and the drumming of the greater spotted woodpecker is very common.