Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Sentinel

A few years ago ferocious winds ripped through this area, overnight they had torn a huge clearing in one of the local woods. The combination of tall conifers and sandy soil had allowed the wind to cause immense damage.

Strangely one of the few trees to survive in the clearing was little more than a tall dead trunk of a silver birch. As the trunk is away from the footpaths it seems that the forestry commission specialists had decided to leave it standing as dead wood.

I have passed it many times since, the trunk is popular with the wildlife. There has been woodpeckers foraging its length to kestrels and occasionally the shape of possibly an owl perched on top. Because of its position central to the clearing it is difficult to get close to those birds standing sentinel, it allows a clear view on all its sides and provides a prominent position to safely watch over the clearing.

I find it pleasing to see that a feature of the wood that is of no financial value and could be seen as some as a risk to people, has been left. It will need many more gestures like this over long years to provide habitat for the wildlife.

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