Monday, 22 December 2008

A dead oak and felling in the wayleave

We first saw our wood about 21 months ago. Since then we've walked round pretty much every part of it at least once. We've measured every single oak. Yet despite all this there are still surprises ready to jump out at us from every corner.

Today, walking along the main ride from our base to where we're felling, I noticed an interesting dead-looking oak tree. Granted, when the leaves were on it would not have been obvious, but I don't understand why we didn't see it last winter. Here it is:
To get an idea of why it's special, here's a closer view:
Standing dead oak is a fabulous wildlife habitat for things like bats, woodpeckers and much more besides. The following pictures are just a few of the holes we could see in this tree:
We're going to keep an eye on this tree, and see what's living there. Could be interesting...

Moving on, we've been hearing a lot of noise coming from the far end of the wayleave, chainsaws and a big chipper by the sound of it. Today we went to investigate, and here's what we saw:

It seems that the trees at the edge, that are hanging over the wayleave, are being logged, while the trees in the middle of the wayleave are being chipped. Although it's doing a certain amount of damage, it's less than I'd feared it might be. We don't yet know if they'll be carrying on past our entrance and down to the road.

And finally, we also did some coppicing, as that was why we were actually there! We're working on the other parts of the footpath and the main ride at the junction. Here's before&after of a part where Tracy was working (it wasn't possible to get all the parts into one photo).
I was doing similar work behind where the camera is, and we worked together on some of the larger trees, Tracy snedding while I did logging and splitting, prior to stacking the split logs straight into the racks we'd put up yesterday.

That's all for now, more to follow tomorrow, when we'll hopefully complete the clearing around the path/ride junction and carry on up the path.


p.s. We also had one slight annoyance today - some helpful person had decided to lift out a few of the pieces of hardcore we'd been using to repair the track in the wayleave, leaving them in a position where they might damage a vehicle coming along the track. We've put it all back in place, and also took photos and reported the incident to the police - not that they will follow it up, but just to keep a log of things like this in case action needs to be taken in future.

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