woensdag 18 januari 2012


The treefelling in The Spaanderswoud has started. Perhaps you remember my previous post about snipers. The creation of a corridor between two fields of heather had temporarily been stopped because of the presence of badgers in that part of the wood. Badgers are protected by law in the Netherlands, you're not allowed to disturb them or their habitat.
The Gooisch Natuur Reservaat (GNR) therefor decided to start on the northern side of the corridor.

The wood consists of mixed conifer and broadleaf trees. Part of it has been planted as production wood with larch and sitka spruce but cutting them for commercial reasons hasn't been done for many years. There's no profit in treefelling anymore.
Although their value for nature is nominal we still think it's a shame to cut down trees, whatever their origin.

Old pinetrees have been felled also. In Scotland it would be a major crime to cut down the old Scots Pine.

Perhaps the odd slowwurm, lizard and the greendotted yellowblue wingbeetle will be pleased with a sunny corridor to a little patch of heather - do these animals migrate a couple of kilometres ? - but do  the badgers, foxes and smalldeer feel the same ?
Next year the badgers will have moved because of the noise and the GNR will say there aren't any badgers living in the southern part of the future corridor so there's no reason not to cut down the rest of the trees anymore. The steward decides and that's final.

vrijdag 6 januari 2012

Former estate 'De Schaffelaar'

11 year old Cameron participates in a chess tournament in Barneveld today and I had a look beforehand for possibilities to walk the dog nearby. At the edge of Barneveld, in the province of Gelderland, lies former estate 'De Schaffelaar' (210 acres). The original castle was destroyed by the Spaniards in 1585 and a new house was erected. In 1767 the garden was created by a student of Andre le Notre, who designed the palace gardens of Versaille, and the house was rebuild and 33 year later destroyed by fire. In 1852 a new house was build in neo-Tudor style. Currently the house is now owned by the council of Barneveld and the gardens are in care of the 'Geldersch Landschap' society.  

Today was cold but calm and dry at last after several days of storms and rain. It's only 5 weeks ago that waterlevels in The Netherlands were so low that ships couldn't navigate properly on smaller rivers and even Rhine and Maas were difficult to navigate. However, waterlevels are so high at the moment that they had to open dykes in the northeast of The Netherlands to store excess water in polders. Excess water is normally pumped to sea but the lowwater level is too high to do so because of the northwesterly storm. People had to be evacuated.

dinsdag 3 januari 2012

Weatherstatistics december

December 2011: warm, ver wet, sunshine normal.

The average temperature was 6,5 dgr.C. (normally 3,7), lowest temperature recorded was -1,9
and the highest 13,4.

Grafiek temperatuurverloop De Bilt

The average rainfall was 150mm (normally 80mm)

Neerslag De Bilt

Hours of sunshine : 52 (normally 49)
Zonneschijnduur De Bilt

On November 30th I mentioned the driest november ever recorded in The Netherlands and in the comments Alan Sloman offered to share the British torrential rain with us.
The raingods listened and did send us rain, a lot of it. Alan, can you please ask the gods to send us less rain ? The temperature is fine (good for the energybill) but the lowcountries have turned into the flowcountries and enough is enough.