Wednesday 15 October 2008

Coppice Harvesting course - Day 3

Today it was raining :-(
(apologies in advance for poor photos: the light was low and I didn't have the SLR)

We carried on regardless, but perhaps a bit slower as things are slippery. We tend not to wear gloves when it's raining - the reason is that they get wet and slippery with slime from the trees, and then you can't grip the saw properly. But without gloves you can wipe your hands clean on your trousers or shirt, and get a proper grip.

To get some shelter we set up a tarpaulin, and we also had a hot meal, which is especially nice on a day like today. Here's the shelter:
Lunch was a venison casserole - Paul brought the venison, David brought the veg and spices, and we brought rice to be added at the end of cooking.
We cooked using a part of an old stove that David had found a while ago. It acted a bit like a chimney and wind shield, and with embers from one of our fires did a good job of cooking a delicious meal:
In between the heavier spells of rain we carried on with the work. The strips Tracy and I are working have now joined up (obviously we had to co-operate to work safely on this bit). You can see my section behind Tracy's here:Tracy was pleased to get some practice in doing split level felling cuts, and felled this large sycamore:
An interesting thing we learned today is that sycamore wood is composed of very short fibres, and so is not as strong as, say, chestnut. The result is that during felling the trees are much more liable to break, and the hinge never stays attached as the tree comes down; both factors which need to be accounted for when planning the felling.

Tomorrow we get on to using ropes in felling trees. Thankfully the weather is forecast to be much better!


If you missed the other posts, Day 1 is here, Day 2 is here, Day 4 is here, Day 5 is here.

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