Saturday, 3 October 2009

Start of coppicing

Another year, another coupe to coppice... Tracy was working yesterday, so I went up to the woods to make the official start to our coppicing, although we've already done a few days of preparatory work. Before I started I sharpened my chainsaw, and I could hear some pheasants arguing nearby. I went over to investigate and found four male pheasants within a few metres of each other.
As per usual, they then just pretended nothing was happening and slowly walked away, trying to be invisible and doing a rather poor job of it.
This was all in the area we coppiced two years ago, I wonder if it's a particularly nice spot for them? It looks like the patches of bracken give them some cover to hide in.
As soon as I started coppicing in Sweep Wood I found that there was a Robin watching me - waiting for me to disturb the bugs it wants to eat no doubt!
I got a little fire going to burn some of the brash that had been generated over the week. It's quite a narrow strip we're working in, so our plan this year is to burn the small brash as we work along the strip, leaving some in piles for wildlife as we complete an area. There's quite a bit of Sycamore in this part of the wood, and after removing and burning the tops, the smaller diameter poles are being left to rot as dead wood habitat.
Large pieces of Sycamore are being stacked to season as firewood, and we'll probably save some pieces for wood turners if they would like them.
I'm going to take a series of photos from two fixed points at the top of the strip we're coppicing, so we can see how it changes over time. Here's one from today:
I'm only working one day a week for the next three weeks, so there should be quite a lot to report from the wood!


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