27 Nov 2014
If you happened to be at Haddo on Sunday morning, you may have had your peaceful walk a bit disturbed by an unexpected, ear-splitting crash out in the park...
One of the largest branches on the big veteran beech had split from the main trunk and come crashing to the ground all in a matter of seconds. It landed safely in the fenced off area around the tree and (apart from the noise almost giving Kate at the tea room a heart attack!) didn't do any damage to anything else.
The veteran beech is perhaps a couple of hundred years old, and has been at Haddo since well before the parkland was landscaped. It's still mostly very healthy- in summer it's a nest site for Great Tits and Blue Tits, and this autumn has produced a huge amount of beech mast for the squirrels and birds to feed on. Like a lot of old trees, it's has several different fungi growing on and around it, including Meripilus fungus (also called Giant Polypore) which can make some of the roots and trunk weak and may have been one of the reasons such a big branch came down in one go.
We're hoping this lovely tree will survive for many more years yet, but it's being regularly monitored by our arbourist and we'll be keeping a close eye on it to see if we can make sure nothing else falls off it unexpectedly...
I know many of you will have come to at least one of the wonderful performances at this year's Haddo Arts Festival back in October. After a few weeks for the committee to get their breath back and recover from all the excitement, we met up this week to have our debriefing meeting- lots of chat about what went well, what performances were the most popular and what we might be able to do even better next time.
At the next meeting we'll start talking about plans for next year (there are already a couple of exciting things in the pipeline...) so if you've got any bright ideas or suggestions about what you'd like to see as part of the Arts Festival, drop us a line and we'll see what we can do!
One plan we do have in place for next October is for us to host the winners' exhibition for the Scottish Nature Photography awards. The awards celebrate the best of landscape, wildlife and urban greenspace photography across Scotland and is open to anyone - professional or amateur- who's managed to take a great picture celebrating the natural beauty of Scotland.
The closing date for entries is in just two days so if you'd like a chance of getting your best pictures up on the wall at Haddo, now's the time to rummage through all those snaps on the hard drive and send a couple of them in! The rules and how to enter can be found on the Scottish Nature Photography Awards website.
Last year's Scottish Nature Photography winner by Donald Cameron, taken at Rattray Head near Fraserburgh