Sunday, 27 April 2008

People, planting and butterflies

Today was one of those days when it seemed like half the population of East Sussex turned up in our wood! Good job we like visitors!

The first thing we saw when we got there though was several Peacock butterflies fluttering around in our clearing. Here's one of them:
As the day was going to include more clearing up and burning, the first job was to resurrect yesterday's fire, which Cath and I got on with:
Shortly after that our visitors started arriving, and helping with the clearing up, as well as a range of other woodland activities, such as practising shelter building skills...

Charlotte, Lauren and Emily made a good start here:
But succumbed to the temptation of a tea break...
leaving Paul, Jason and Cath to finish the job:
It did the job, keeping off the odd shower, though a gust of wind did blow the cover off!
The other neat thing that happened today was that Alison and Charlie popped over from Fantail Wood - they'd been given some chestnut whips (young trees) by someone who had a few spares, but didn't want them themselves. So, they came to offer them to us. It's getting late for planting, but hopefully most of them will make it. Here they are, about 20 of them:
Paul and I got busy digging holes:
while Tracy (having been on a tree planting course) directed Charlotte and Lauren in the planting
We planted them wherever there were larger gaps between the other chestnut stools, to fill the gaps as they grow up and encourage them to grow straight, to make them more useful to people next time they're harvested. There's plenty of info on the BTCV website about the appropriate densities for different species:

We saw another interesting thing on BTCV about the history of coppicing on this page:


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