Country diary: what happens when nature takes back control

About 15 years ago livestock grazing ceased in this field, on the southern edge of Blaid’s Wood, two miles south of the city center. An aerial invasion from wind-borne tree seeds followed, and ash, silver birch, alder, and willow seedlings appeared everywhere. The bird-sown seed of bramble, briars, and hawthorn sprouted. A few oaks even arrived, from acorns cached by jays then forgotten.

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