Around 1990 when we looked after Low Lane Wood, involving tree and hedge planting and path maintenance, we also made steps and stiles to improve access for people walking through the wood up to Torrisholme Barrow. After a number of elm trees, which had been beautiful features of the landscape overlooking Morecambe, died of Dutch Elm Disease on the Barrow, to replace them we planted four oak and ash trees and constructed tree guards to protect them from damage and trampling by cattle. In 2017 one of these trees was struck by lightning. Following discussions with local farmer, Mark Birkett, we replaced it and added three more trees and protective cages.
We completed the last of 3 tree cages on Torrisholme Barrow in mid March 2021- an oak to replace the ‘lightning tree’!! The weather was awful, but it needed to be done!
We have at least 4 more to do in the autumn!! Mark Birkett - the farmer based at White Lund Farm (which has been in the family since 1893 and Mark is the fifth generation farming it) has been very complimentary to us! He has said ‘Good work with the new trees’ and fully agrees that ‘The Barrow landscape is quite ancient and needs maintaining the best we can’.
All the new caged trees are doing well, with the stock (including the bull!) now in residence. The latest oak here is just beginning to break.
Now we have removed the redundant cage from the tree struck by lightning. We built another cage with wire netting attached to wooden posts and planted a sessile oak, watched by some of the inquisitive cows.