Saturday, 26 November 2011

Trees for Christmas

Tree Planting? In Winter?! – It’s not as crazy as it sounds believe it or not. All too often we become too busy with Christmas shopping, tired from working through another hectic week or the dark nights make it difficult to even contemplate gardening; preferring to leave it be until the first signs of spring. I'm on the same page too, but at the risk of sounding like an advert; I would like to think

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Fungi Photos @ComptonVerney

UPDATED - 11th December 2011
The post below was initially compiled to get the ball rolling with some fungi identification. A great website was suggested and has so far proved very handy with many names suggested by helpful participants. My main aim is to gage the scope/range of fungi throughout the grounds at Compton Verney, and this will of course require continued seasonal effort. I'm already aware some have not appeared this season which did so in 2010.
It appears quite difficult to be 100% certain of identification, especially when the photograph isn't clear, but the recording so far

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Lake Survey Compton Verney 2011

A particular event in the grounds at Compton Verney, back at the end of September, was a lake survey completed for us by Andrew Ellis of AE Fisheries. The work was restricted to a day and therefore could only be a representative survey, intending to ascertain water quality, the health and types of fish that occupy the upper lake, which is approximately 10 acres. This post is, I apologise in advance, mostly a photographic record. Not only was the day beautiful, with the water glistening from the constant sunshine (not a day to be in waders I can tell you,) but as there is a great deal of interest in the lake, I thought I'd at least show what happened, for all interested parties!

Compton Verney 2011 Gary Webb
  Andrew and team arrived nice and early, and with professionalism got straight on with the job, unloading the boat and gear. Although merely spectators, we watched at selected times to get a feel for how things were going, to explain to visitors what was happening, and of course to see what came out of the nets as they were reeled in.

Andy and Andy head out at start of day, at Compton Verney
People often ask about the lake and its fish, and information about varieties given out thus far has been spot on - Carp, Tench, Roach, Bream & Pike. We knew this from the types recorded as being caught by our angling membership thus far, some of whom have been fishing the lake for many years. The post from here on is mostly the photo's, but before I add these, I just want to say, for the record, that Andy and his team were very professional from the outset, and carried out an effective survey. Our suspicions regarding the size of the fish (small on the whole,) were confirmed, along with very handy information about the silting up of the top end of the lake. We now have suggestions for better lake management, and I hope we'll be able to capitalise on these with a new programme of lake management over the next few years.
Netting begins at Compton Verney

Reeling in the first catch of the day.

Examining the catch, as you can see, not the largest on this occasion!
Pike - 1st of the day at Compton Verney
Scouting around the lake to record species that escaped the netting.

AE Fisheries
Compton Verney
Compton Verney Angling

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Batsford Arboretum

It's a quick post today after a refreshing visit to Batsford Arboretum in the Cotswolds with my son. Over ten years have passed since I last strolled through Batsford with a group of design students, and enjoyed such an impressive collection of plants and trees. To be honest, back then I hadn't fully appreciated how special the plant collection was, what with all the chat and rapidly grabbed pictures - long since lost! This time the visit achieved more, yet the photo's were again rapidly taken as for much of the time I was trying to keep up with a toddler with one thing on the mind

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Ice House - Compton Verney

In a wooded Warwickshire valley, sitting in silence a little way back from an old carriage drive, is an oddly shaped yet picturesque building. Obviously from another age, it sits snugly amongst Yew trees with its fully restored lime mortared brickwork and newly thatched bonnet. This post is my small effort to record the work of many who toiled so that a special building from times past may breathe again. The ice house sits centrally as part of the Compton Verney House Trust estate, which now functions as a major art gallery and charitable trust.

Ice House, Compton Verney, 2011
After a long and crumbly time, and following a restoration project that lasted over two years, the Compton Verney Ice House