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In 1990 we bought 2 acres (about 10000 square metres) of cow-pasture adjoining our house in which we are creating about 1.5 acres of woodland, plus ponds and meadows managed for wildlife. There are about 800 trees and 250 yards of new mixed hedge (a mix of mostly native species), and 4 ponds, 3 with 'family' sized islands. Planting, digging and caring for this lot has provided more, and more interesting, exercise than ever before in our lives.

The density of planting is too high for a mature wood, but this provides a surplus for harvesting willow wands and similar coppice products. We can always thin over-dense areas. Any areas inadequately planted now can't be rectified later!

Our interests range from Swans to bluetits and from Foxes to the tiniest insects. Thus the provision of ponds, numerous nest boxes, and areas planted or left wild for insects. The bird boxes range from Tits to owls - most of which seems to get used by the 'wrong' species of birds.

We are documenting the changes and inhabitants, including photographing birds and insects in flight - see pictures of Butterflies, Dragonflies, Swallows, etc.

An allotment area is used to grow a reasonable quantity of our own food, made easier by having been Vegans since about 1972. Our patch is just North of Milton Keynes in the UK. Roy is a Computer Software Designer and enjoys Photography, Wildlife and Electronics. Marie is a painter, helps Roy with the business, and is mad about gardening and collecting scruffy old books about the world before it was shrunk by modern communications.

If you have broadband, or are patient enough for a 4MB download, you might like to see an animated sequence of about 70 images of the development of the plot from 1991 to 2006 by clicking the icon at the left.