Friday, 18 January 2008

Coppicing in the rain


Well, we made a start on the coppicing yesterday. We got up there for 8:30am, and the weather forecast was for it to be dry until after lunch. Sadly, this was not the case, and it progressed from a drizzle at 9:30 to steady rain an hour later... We kept going, but around lunchtime the wind picked up, and we could hear the cables on the nearby pylons signing! So we stopped felling, and just cleared up what was left on the ground.

Here's the day in pictures, apologies if the later ones are not great, I was trying to avoid getting too much rain in the camera!

When we arrived, we saw a dead adder in the track:

It looked like someone had driven over it, though it was probably already dead, as it shouldn't have been out at this time of year, it should have been in hibernation for a month already:

After unloading the car, we got the safety and information signs up:

We got off to a slow start, due to a huge mass of honeysuckle:

In the middle of it was a young-ish oak, as well as three birch stems. We want to encourage the oak, so we set about removing the honeysuckle and felling the birch. Here's a picture after we'd finished, where you can see the oak left on its own (just to the right of the pile of chestnut stems):

The main job was of course the chestnut, here's a photo before:

and after:

We had a fair number of logs, all sorted according to their final market:

When we stopped after lunch we were quite wet, and glad to go home and warm up!

Overall we were quite pleased with our progress. The honeysuckle slowed us down at the start, and we stopped to chat with out neighbour Colin when he came to replenish the bird feeders in his wood, so we just got a few hours in, and everything being wet made things go a bit slower. But we felled 4 or 5 small chestnut stems, 3 or 4 medium, and a couple large (12" bottom diameter), and got them all measured, logged up and sorted according to their final destination - garden furniture, firewood to sell and firewood for our own use. We didn't any pieces of sufficient length, straightness and diameter for post&rail or fence stakes, but that should change as we move through the cant.


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