Hutton John Estate
Hutton John Estate

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A Summer Of Sorts

July 7th, 2020

Better Times Ahead

In March I reflected on the start of Spring, finally…

I seem to be obsessed with the weather, but there has been good reason for that over the past six months or so. I have been trying to remember what the sun looks like and how lovely it is to have the heat of the sun on your skin. But these were just memories until very recently when the sun made a welcome return and when it did appear there was some warmth to be felt. I have proof.

Sunshine above Little Mell Fell

Sunny Days

It made me start to think about what a battering the country has had and unusually Cumbria has not generally borne the brunt of the terrible weather.

I started this in March, but then events unfolded to sweep us in to the coronavirus pandemic and writing a journal entry seemed irrelevant. However as always life moves forward and lockdown is easing. I have had to shield as many others have, because of my Ms, but I think being here has made it all much easier. I can’t think how it must have been for people in cities stuck in flats without any outside space. I  see things have changed and some things for the better, helping us appreciate what’s important.

Willow

In March the main reason for writing was that we have planted some willow. This will be for biomass fuel. It is great for the environment as the trees are fast growing and so take on carbo dioxide. They are cropped every three years. (Research into the medicinal benefits of willow is making progress and it is thought new drugs and therapies can be developed from it). You can put sheep in to the fields after the first two years which is benefit to the sheep in two ways- they can eat the leaves on lower branches and the willow produces chemicals that are antibacterial. Moreover the sheep of course produce lots of poo to re-invigorate the soil and they do a bit of environmentally-friendly weeding. We have planted thousands of trees on the estate, but there are now tens of thousands of little willow plants and they seem to like it here. They had a great start with lots of warm sunshine and then considerable rain. I look forward to watching them “grow good” as my mother would say.