Enhancing the Historic Landscape At Baron's Haugh
Stephen Owen, Warden at RSPB Baron's Haugh talks us through what's happening to restore the historic landscape at the reserve including replanting and digging out the Victorian curling pond.
We are in the midst of all kinds of exciting work at the moment at Baron's Haugh. Thanks to funding through the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP), there is plenty going on this winter to help restore some of the historic landscape at the reserve. Much of what you see around Baron's Haugh was designed deliberately as beautiful grounds for the stately Dalzell House that sits next to the nature reserve. At the moment we are working hard to replant some of the ancient parkland trees that formed dramatic avenues leading down form the house to the banks of the River Clyde. Yesterday volunteers moved goodness knows how many tons of timber to build fences around the new trees to protect them from deer and cows.
A couple of local schools are also taking part in an orchard project. We have the remnants of the old estate orchard with a few gnarled old pear trees still standing. The kids have been learning about the history of the area and in a few weeks time will be coming along to re-plant the orchard with traditional varieties if apples, pears, plums and damsons that were once grown in the Clyde Valley.
If that wasn't enough, we are also going to be re-planting the chestnut walk. The existing horse chestnuts are reaching the end of their lives. We will be replanting with sweet chestnuts, to keep the name, but avoid the horse chestnut tree diseases that are rife in the area. Finally there is an old curling pond down by the river to be dug out again. We hope this stunning Victorian feature will also make a home for plenty of wildlife.