February and March have been a busy time at Holt Wood. Our aim has been to clear away brambles and undergrowth before the end of March, by strimmer and by hand; this seems to suit many of the smaller wild flowers and now we are seeing lots of Dog Violets popping up in the rides. Meanwhile, the new herb beds created last year included a spare one that was rotavated, mulched with grass cuttings and covered with black plastic over the winter. This bed will be home for trying some crops of Agrimony, Marigold, Yarrow and more – seed saved from walks and harvests last year. Working in the medicinal wood at this time of year is a delight as we get to see everything bursting into flower and leaf, fine examples are Goat Willow (Salix caprea) and Oregon Grape Root (Mahonia aquifolium) flowering ahead of everything else.