In October 2016, I wrote a blog on the devastation resulting from the heavy snowfall that fell in one night in March 2015. This caused a huge number of pine trees to topple, as the root system is not splayed out like an oak tree and so cannot support extra weight on top. Which then became a nesting ground for the bark eating beetles, whose numbers skyrocketed and went from one tree to the next, sucking all the life out before moving on to the next one and killing whole areas. The next winter, being mild, meant they could multiply even more until another bad winter culled the population back to manageable size.
But wonderful news – the huge number of dead trees surrounding Melanya are being cleared away, meaning more Melanya routes are open to walkers. Finally, the useless wood is disappearing fast and in doing so they’re helping me without realising! There are 2 routes in particular, which were beyond our abilities to clear. One path alone needed about 100 fallen trees, crossing the paths, to be cut down and moved to one side. Now my rerouted tracks can go back to the original paths and my completely closed walks are once again open. The warm dry weather is not hampering the operation and soon the muddy tyre tracks will green over and hide the human intervention.