Two years after opening Hay Meadow Burial Ground, we applied for planning permission to create a woodland burial ground adjacent to the meadow. Here, we are creating 'Busnant Wood' which in time, will be filled with trees native to the valley. We have a special tree planting plan to follow, created by our friend, a professional gardener. This will allow the trees to flourish and develop broad canopies for generations of families who may visit.
Busnant Wood will be a grazed woodland. During parts of the years, our sheep will naturally graze the grass, helping to maintain the undergrowth and avoid unnecessary mowing and trimming which could harm the many hedgehogs that are often seen around the farm and wild birds like the Yellow Hammer which nest in the high grass. Whilst it is possible to do so, we will continue to harvest a crop of hay from the field, like the hay meadow in order to avoid unnecessary wastage and mowing. However, as the woodland begins to develop, we will be unable to continue harvesting the hay.
We plan to plant a variety of native trees which will blossom and provide a source of food for the vast array of insects and pollinators including our own honey bees, such as berries, fruits and nuts. Trees which are popular in the valley include the Rowen, Silver Birch, May Flower, Willow, Holly, Hazel, Oak, Beech and Crab Apple. We will also introduce native trees which are less common in the valley, such as Spindle Berry, Wild Cherry, Gelder Rose, Wayfaring Tree and Juniper in order to provide more blossom and winter feeds. Busnant Wood will therefore become a mixed native woodland in time.
As the woodland develops, families will be able to purchase bird boxes to place on established trees, complete with a brass plaque inscribed with the names of their loved ones. We have already placed a few bird boxes, including an owl box in the far corner of Busnant Wood - hopefully we will have some new feathered residents soon!