After the first winter of living in this house I knew a windbreak of trees was absolutely necessary. For months a breath-sucking, bone-tingling north/north-easterly wind had sped over the farmer’s field and hit our house, along with the chicken area, at full force.
It was soul-sappingly bitter.
Spring broke through for a while. We were joyous. I love winter, but after months of that wind, a cold wind that had started in late autumn, I was ready to feel some spring sunshine on my face. Underneath bright blue skies we introduced some new chickens to our flock. They were about fifteen weeks old. Ready for the outside world. Ready for their forever home.
But then winter decided it hadn’t finished with us. That aggressive wind came back. And sadly one of those new chickens was just not hardy enough.
Needs must. I started to research trees. I knew absolutely nothing about them. I could probably point out a horse chestnut but that was my limit. What I did know, however, was that I wanted a tree with leaves that transformed from green to red to yellow throughout the autumn months, before falling gently to the ground.
After some reading about the subject I also knew I wanted a mixture of evergreen and deciduous with the majority of the trees we planted to be native to the UK.
The Field Maple has leaves that turn red. It is also the UK’s only native maple.
I bought many trees in my first tree project purchase. And the Field Maple was one of them. It now stands proudly at the bottom of the field, in direct eye line from the house. The leaves are just changing from green to red.
My Chicken Story Stories is snippets of my thoughts as I pull together the first draft of my memoir.