The bird nesting season is now over in the UK so I'm able to start work in tidying up the woodland part of the orchard. There's a potential fine of £5000 or six months prison for disturbing a Schedule 1 bird. I've seen none of those on the orchard or the adjoining woodland, but it is best practice not to disturb any wild bird.
At the "far end" of the orchard the land is narrow and almost completely taken up by the woodland on the embankment. The trees there have not been managed at all so it is dark and tangled. Trees are leaning against each other and ivy growth is rampant. I spent three hours today with a pruning saw and chain saw starting to unravel the trees. It was mostly Hawthorn and Ash, but I also took down some Blackthorn bushes which been annoying me all year.
After the hard work it was great to relax in the open part of the orchard in warm and bright mid-September sunshine. I took the opportunity to sample one of the Egremont Russet apples. They taste great but the pips in the core were still white, meaning the apples need some more growing time.