Friday, 18 January 2008

Visitors put to work!


Be warned! If you visit our wood you may have to do some work! Here's the evidence:

Mark and Caroline visited, and got busy with a saw and loppers:

Then a couple of days later Jason (a friend from PowerSwitch) dropped by, and felled his first tree. He then discovered that the hard work is not in cutting it down, but in cutting it up afterwards:

Tracy and I carried on after Jason left, and made a bit more progress on the silver birches, resulting in a nice pile of logs to dry out to be used as firewood at some point in future:

... yes, I know this tree is not fully cut down, but it was getting near to dinner time!

I had a good chat with out local forestry commission person today, and found that for coppicing no felling licence is required, providing the stems are less than 15cm diameter, as many of ours are. Fortunately this also applies to the work we're doing on ride clearance at present, as the trees are all small and we are in fact coppicing them - cutting them down will not kill them, they'll put up new shoots and continue to grow - you can see in the picture above that this tree has been coppiced once in the past - hence the presence of several stems from one base.

We'll be waiting until winter before the main coppicing work though, as that's the ideal time from the point of view of giving the trees the best start the following spring. That's not a concern for the silver birch we are felling at the moment though, as we're not bothered if they make a slow start after being cut - the objective is to get some light down to the woodland floor to keep the ride dry and allow other plants to grow.

And just to show we don't spend all our time in the wood, here's some pictures from the beach the other side of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve:


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