Winter Oaks and Otters

I have always loved oak trees and otters. So it was exciting to get an invite today that would allow me to explore land that was possibly home to both!

Sunset from the top of Pardys Hill

My local Dorset otter group co-ordinator phoned last week asking if I had seen signs of otters on my local “patch” of the Stour. Unfortunately the weather has been so wet that my patch of river is overflowing, washing away any otter spraint.

After coming off the phone, I remembered that I had heard of a local man called John who was planting a new oak wood using acorns collected from the “Major Oak” in Sherwood Forest (one of the oldest, and best known ancient oaks in the country).

This story intrigued me, not only because I love oak trees, but because his land borders a part of the River Stour that I have never surveyed for otters. Maybe his land hadn’t flooded yet. So I asked a few people and got hold of John’s email address. When I emailed him he came back with a very excited email.

Dorset Otter Group

Today, for the first time in 100 years, the millstream on his land had filled with water and was running freely. He had been working all summer digging out the old millstream, and today the rains brought it back to life. So you see the rain does have it’s uses!

Tomorrow I’m getting a guided tour of John’s new oak wood and will see the newly filled millstream. We are both hoping that otters will start using this millstream and the tributaries that run from my village (Corfe Mullen, Dorset) straight into the millstream and the River Stour beyond.

Let’s hope the rain stops soon… otherwise all I will see is a sea of water!

Sunset from the top of Pardys Hill


9 thoughts on “Winter Oaks and Otters

  1. Really funny you should ask that. I was looking at your blog the other day and wondered about the pictures on your story “bringing the cows in”. The two above are sunset. We have had some glorious sunsets recently… there must be something in the air!

  2. Thanks Sara. I’d love to see a picture of your oak tree. They look great in the winter when they have lost all their leaves. A bit like a massive set of antlers. We have some beautiful old oaks nearby, and I hope to get some pictures of them once the water recedes a bit (they are partly submerged at the moment!).

  3. They are sunrises, very very early! I’ve got some others shot with red, , which look even more like sunsets.
    I just love the parallel lines, stunning – jet streams?

  4. I don’t see the sun rise very often… especially in the summer. I think they must be jet streams, or, as I have just learnt from the Cloud Appreciation Society website, “contrails”. There seems to be a website for just about everything nowadays. Some brilliant photos on it though! See: if you ever need to know more about clouds…

  5. How beautiful! I’d love to know if your friend can get those acorns to sprout. I recently read that the health of Sherwood Forest was being threatened, and it’s always good to know that someone is helping to keep it alive.

  6. JBL – Yes he now has a young “wood” of about 300 saplings. See my post called “Water, Water, Water”. They are about 5ft high and protected from deer by a 6ft fence. A beautiful wood for the future.

  7. Pingback: Festival of the Trees, #19 « Hoarded Ordinaries

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