News from the land – Autumn 2021

The trees are late in putting on their autumn colours, however these last few days the birches started to look glorious in their yellow golden foliage. I love the autumn! The colours in the trees, the woodsmoke in the air, the rich damp smells of the earth, the daily noisy pilgrimage of the 17,000 or so geese flying overhead…

 As we’ve had a bit of a damp October there is an amazing variety of mushrooms in great numbers everywhere in the woods. We even found the first ‘cauliflower fungus’ here – a very large (the size of a football) attractive mushroom which only fruits every six years or so. In contrast the sweet ‘birds nest fungus’ is tiny – but apparently the oldest mushroom in the UK.

But more on that from our fungi survey…

Another exciting first here in the woods was the sighting of a pine-marten – we even got some nice photos of it.

In October we ran the last of our ‘wild camping retreats’ for this year. And now it’s time to harvest the insights gained and begin the preparations for the seeds for next year. We look back over the seasons and reflect on how it all went and how it can evolve in the future. I am happy to say that the retreats were a great success – both for our retreat participants (we’ve got great feedback from them) and for us as a charity. 

We’ve also held burials, the planting of memorial trees, a theatre performance, the weekly gathering of parents with their ‘Findhorn fledglings’, and various other groups and events out at and around our Hinterland shelter. Considering that we are still living with the covid pandemic, it’s been pretty lively out there.

In terms of conservation work on the land;

  • After three years of hard physical labour, the major heath areas with their lichen habitat have now been defined. They will only need a little bit of annual work to be maintained over the next few years. 
  • We have cut a considerable amount of gorse in Lyle’s wood – big piles of it are waiting to be removed and burned.
  • Here and there we are doing a bit of replacement planting – or spot-planting where we find appropriate space.
  • There have been a few Saturday work-parties in the Edible Woodland Garden – which still needs some enthusiastic gardeners to look after it.
  • The ‘Outdoor Learning Space’ is slowly but surely nearing completion – a window in the back and some work to get the stoves working properly and it will be fully functional.
  • You will read elsewhere about the progress we’ve made with erecting the mainframe of our new ‘Conservation Hub’ – the roof went on this week.
  • It was exciting to finally get started with the construction of what is to be the physical homebase of our conservation work.

And now, as we are getting closer to the winter solstice,  it is the time when the natural world invites us again to turn more of our attention inward to pause, become still and listen…

Many blessings

Kajedo Wanderer

Land Manager of the Findhorn Hinterland Trust


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Findhorn Hinterland Trust, Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) SC045806
228 Pineridge, Findhorn, Forres, Moray IV36 3TB