Last Friday I had a lovely lady, Lynne Kenderdine, from the Devon Wildlife Trust, http://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/ , visit my wife and I at our wood / land which is situated on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon. She viewed our wood / land and I informed her that I wanted to turn it into my own private wildlife / nature reserve so that I could do my photography there without any interruption from other people. She was a mind full of information and gave us a lot of ideas that we can do with our land to achieve that, but she thought that the land was in very good condition anyway. It actual fact she stated that apart from thinning out some of the trees we did not have to do a great deal as all around us is land designated as a “County Wildlife Site”. The area is great for moths, bats, Dormice, voles, birds, Deer, Foxes, Badgers, Otters etc. There is also a great variety of plants which she named but sadly as I do not have interest in plants I cannot remember the names. I should change my view of plants because they bring in the insects which in turn bring in the wildlife which is what I am after. Lynne talked about repopulating the hedges and hedge laying, a thing that I have never done. There are courses for hedge laying which I might enrol on or there is a group that will use your hedge to teach others the craft. Some of the trees in the hedge will have to be cut down and others laid to thicken the hedge. I need to keep the roadside hedge as this appears to be a thoroughfare for bats; Greater horseshoe, Lesser horseshoe and Brown long-eared. I have got to make some clearings to let light reach the floor and repopulate growth, flowers, trees etc. There is a lot of bluebells in the wood if only the light could reach them. This will involve taking out quite a few holly trees which have grown up due to the lack of light. I have also got to widen the path so again more trees will be cut down. When I say cut down I mean coppice so that they regrow as bushes. A lot of the trees that need to be taken out will go towards heating my house as I have just installed two wood burners. The others will be stacked in piles in the wood for fauna and flora to live in and on. Some of the wood will go to make up a footpath down to the river Tavy. I intend to plant some willow trees at the bottom of the wood just before the river Tavy which would offer great habitat diversity. I will be cutting the branches back between the field and the first row of trees to create a rough grassland / scrubby margin which should encourage owls and raptors. I will also be putting up bird boxes, bat boxes and boxes for Dormice. The Dormice information really excited me and I will get someone with a licence to periodically check the Dormice boxes. Well that will keep me busy for the next few years but I'm hoping my efforts will really improve the land for wildlife and my photography will benefit. There is a large flat area within the wood that is crying out for a hide to be put on. I can already imagine it with me sitting in there waiting for the wildlife to appear, wood burner going in the corner to keep the chill off and a pint of cider and a crusty ham roll in my hand, life does not get any better than this…………. Sorry I was away there, back to the matter in hand.
Last week I described what I do in Lightroom as part of my post processing http://www.robinstanbridgephotography.co.uk/blog/2016/2/how-i-post-process-my-wildlife---nature-photographs-part-1. Once I have completed that I then transfer the image to Photoshop to complete the works. I also said that I do not do a lot in Photoshop which is true, what I do doesn't change the image it just polishes it, I believe.
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