Alders on a very grey day

Alder is the food plant of several moth caterpillars, including the alder kitten, pebble hook-tip, and the autumnal and blue bordered carpet moths. Catkins provide an early source of nectar and pollen for bees, and the seeds are eaten by siskin, redpoll and goldfinch.

The alder tree fertilises the ground by fixing nitrogen in the soil around its roots; its roots also provide the perfect holt sites for otters when growing on riverbanks. Alders can grow to a height of 20 metres and can live for 60years.

I feel cold just looking at this image.

This is a view of alders growing along the edges of the Rubbish Tip Field. We worked here today, improving its tangled wood by removing crack willow boughs that might be a danger to the cattle, and thinning and trimming hawthorn trees growing at peculiar angles in their search for the best sunlight.

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