Monday 8 December 2008

The start of a new clearing

As I've said before, we're coppicing along the edges of the rides and footpaths in and around our wood, to widen them and let more light in, so benefiting wildlife like butterflies, other insects, and the creatures that feed on them. So what happens where the ride from inside our wood meets the footpath at the edge of it? Well, we're shaping it to be a small clearing. Here's the progress so far:

first a photo from last week:
then one from the end of today:
Don't worry - I've not blocked the public footpath, the ride on the left goes into our own wood, while the footpath goes right, and you can still walk round the log pile anyway.

The sky is opening up above the rides, just waiting for that springtime sun to come in...
It may look like I missed a few small trees just where the rides start to diverge, but there's a reason:
The clearing-to-be is filled with honeysuckle! This will be great for White Admiral butterflies, if they decide to venture down the newly widened rides next summer... There's more in other spots around the junction too:
As always, we're working hard to preserve it during the felling, and leave standing dead wood and the occasional live tree where it is growing.

Tracy's also got some preservation work to do, starting with felling this group of birch trees:
The reason? There's a young self-seeded oak next to them, that will benefit from the light that will be let in: She didn't actually get to fell those birch today though, as other trees needed to be felled first to make a space for them to fall into. She did cut 15 other ones down though!

A couple of interesting odds and ends now. First, another piece of woodland archaeology, in this case what looks like a fuel or oil tank of some sort - there's a filler cap on the end of the cylinder, which is itself made of metal gauze. I guess coppicers in years gone by didn't bother taking machinery home when it broke...
And second, what is probably the last large mushroom of this year, still frozen this morning:
That's all for now, we're working in the wood again on Thursday and Friday.


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