I was amazed to discover young heather shoots flowering less than one year after the ground was cleared of pines.
The large area on the east of the reserve was a dense and inpenetrable sea of young pines, 8 feet tall and supressing all else that might try to grow. After they were cleared the area looked stark and devoid of life. But, under the litter of pine needles and brash, heather seeds were waiting to germinate. 10 months later, and a patchy rich-green carpet of heather is developing and beautiful, tiny, pink flowers are appearing. These first shoots will provide nectar for insects and the seeds for even more germination. This really is a wonderful promise of things to come over the next few years.
Another autumn appearance was Tree Pipit. This lovely 'little brown job' has a wonderful call and a unique parachuting flight. It's late appearance in the new clearings suggests it bred somewhere locally but is now checking out Broadwater as a future summer home. I'm confident they will soon take up residence on the newly restored heath.