I wrote a blog, in October 2016, about the devastation caused by heavy snow falling overnight, in March 2015. This meant a huge number of pine trees toppling, as the sandy mountain soil depth is too shallow for their root system, not providing enough support for tall trees and the extra weight of snow on top. The fallen trees blocked many paths and then became a nesting ground for Bark Eating Beetles, whose numbers skyrocketed. They went from one tree to the next, sucking all the life out before moving on to eventually kill whole areas of pine trees. The next winter being mild, meant they could multiply even more until finally a bad winter brought the population back to a manageable size.
But wonderful news, folks, the unsightly brown trees are disappearing fast, and in doing so they’re helping me without realising! The clumps of dead wood surrounding Melanya Mountain Retreat, are being cleared away, meaning more routes are accessible to walkers. There are 2 in particular, which were blocked and beyond our capabilities to clear. A 50 metre stretch alone required about 100 fallen trees to be cut and moved to one side and was far too much for us to attempt. Equipped with modern machinery and huge trucks, the forestry workers are fast progressing on the difficult task.
So now, my rerouted paths can go back to their original way-marked tracks, and completely closed walks have, once again, been opened up for people to explore this area of outstanding beauty. This bio-diverse region contains many different types of wild flowers, mushrooms, birds and animals. Majestic deer and native tortoises are just 2 of the inhabitants the tourists come to see. The warm dry weather is aiding the operation and soon the muddy tyre tracks shall green over and hide all trace of human intervention. Ultimately, balance will be restored.