Sunday 5 October 2008

Coppicing while the sun shines

We spent Thursday and a short time at the end of Friday coppicing, taking advantage of the sunshine while we had it. We're still just felling the birch, leaving the chestnut until the leaves are off it, as that should mean it is drier to start with, and also the regrowth will be straighter. We've now got lots of little piles of logs along the path:We were hoping to go up this afternoon and split them, but the weather is wet and very windy...
Tracy's been getting in some practice before we go on a coppice harvesting course next week, felling a larger birch here:

Many of the trees get hung up along the path, but the birch are easy to roll/slide out safely using a cant hook and long felling lever. Once they're all out of the way there'll be more space to fell the chestnut. Here's Tracy's tree on the ground.The path is now getting noticeably lighter:
One of the trees I felled had an old bird nest in it, which I saved to get a photo of. We're not sure what bird used it, but we *thought* a dropping in it was from a green woodpecker. Any ideas?
This is of course one of the reasons why we're coppicing now, and not in the spring - we knew this bird nest would not be occupied at this time of year.
We had a great lunch up there on the Thursday - a stew using some of our own vegetables from the allotment and meat from a rabbit I shot a couple of weeks ago. Cooked over a wood fire of course, so another nice low-carbon meal :-)
I did some chainsaw sharpening as well - much nicer to do it outdoors in the sunshine than at the kitchen table in the evening.
And finally, autumn is definitely here:

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