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Notebook.

Your fruit and vegetable weekly update.

1 Lift some small pieces of chives and mint and bring them into a warm glasshouse or onto a warm, sunny windowsill for some fresh herbs in a week or two.

Sow one or two pots of salad leaves on a sunny windowsill to make winter salads just a little more interesting. There is still time to plant overwintering onions and garlic in some well-prepared ground.

Attack patches of invasive perennial weeds in your vegetable garden now with a fork to remove rhizomes, stolons and tap-roots.

2 Harvest the last of your autumn raspberries and late fruiting blueberries. Complete the pruning and tying in of any cane fruits and finish pruning bush fruit so that the autumn and winter can ripen the new growth for next summer.

Best of the Bunch Native to Britain IN THE light of the recent announcement by the Woodland Trust about their plans for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (see below for more information), I thought it might be interesting to take a look at one or two of our native trees.

Visit any of our local examples of ancient woodland and you will find some of the best examples of native tree species.

Our native oak tree, the Sessile or Durmast Oak, Quercus petraea, so called because its acorns do not usually have a stalk, is one of the most valuable trees in our environment, supporting hundreds of different species of fauna and giving our woods that feeling of permanence as you walk through them.

Scattered through the woodlands are groups of Silver Birch, Betula pendula, not as long lived as the oaks but just as impor tant.

This pioneer tree will invade sunlit glades with young seedlings if one or two older trees fall or die and its rapid growth helps to shelter and protect the longer living oaks that grow up through this forest of birch trees.

In addition there will be random specimens of holly, Ilex aquifolium, filling the under-story of the woodland and providing shelter, nesting and feeding sites for a wide range of woodland birds. Alongside streams and rivers that criss-cross our local woodland there are sure to specimens of the common alder, Alnus glutinosa that spreads up and down stream by tiny wind distributed seeds. Another native that spreads rather too rapidly by wind distributed seeds is the Goat Willow, Salix caprea.

There are some specimens of the common ash, Fraxinus excelsior and Common Beech, Fagus sylvatica in our local woodlands but they are never as common as our wonderful oaks and birches.

Go out and enjoy your local woodlands in this autumn season and appreciate their contribution to your local environment.Intro My diary ...

THE Woodland Trust intends to plant new forest areas across Britain next year to help celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Its plans include 60 Diamond Woods and hundreds of smaller Diamond Woodlands across Britain with six million trees.

To get involved as a community group, a school or a family, or to donate towards this worthy cause, why not visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk or www.jubileewoods.org.uk . ? Festival of Fruit is a wonderful annual celebration of British fruit and it is to make its debut at Countryside Live next weekend, October 22 and 23 at the Yorkshire Showground near Harrogate.

Countryside Live is the sister show to the Great Yorkshire Show and has a wide variety of activities for all the family. For more details on the Festival of Fruit and Countryside Live, visit www.countrysidelive.co.uk or call the ticket line on 01423 541222.

CAPTION(S):

* SEASON'S END: Time to pick the last of this season's luscious raspberries * NATIVE DIAMOND: Let's celebrate the oak, an intrinsic part of our native woodland
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Oct 15, 2011
Words:627
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