Monday 27 June 2011

An afternoon in the woods

For various reasons we've not made it to the woods for a couple of weeks, so it was great to get back up there yesterday afternoon, and also have some friends from church visit. We're looking at using the wood for a couple of different groups to visit for BBQ or camping - I just hope we get more weather like yesterday's!

The mixture of recent rain and strong sunshine has really made the plants shoot up, some of the coppice we cut last winter has grown a few feet already!

DSC_8135 coppice woodland

Also in that area there are Bluebell seeds now ready to grow - we might collect a few and scatter them more widely I think...
DSC_8145 bluebell seeds

Further up the hill, where we cut the previous winter, the foxgloves are still putting on a good show:
DSC_8137 foxgloves

Deeper inside the wood everything is very green, but there's more evening shade now:
DSC_8147 woodland path

This winter we think we might selectively cut some of the coppice stools along the rides, to create alternating ages and a permanent 'shrub layer' which should be beneficial for the wildlife.

Speaking of wildlife, we saw a few hornets near the camp today. Don't forget these aren't any more dangerous than a normal wasp, and are in fact less aggressive. I only managed to get a poor picture of one - wrong camera setting, so entirely my fault! Here it is though:
DSC_8141 hornet
Remember that's a chestnut leaf it's on - the insect is over an inch long!

Anyway, now work has calmed down a bit we should be visiting the woods more often, so normal service shall be resumed on this blog!


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Friday 24 June 2011

Ashden Awards 2011 ceremony video

We've just uploaded the video from last week's awards ceremony. Enjoy...

There's more videos from last week on the Ashden Awards YouTube channel:

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Saturday 18 June 2011

The end of a busy week at the Ashden Awards...

Well, that was a long week - but a good one! I've been staying in London most of the past week, as we had the Ashden Awards Conference all day Wednesday and the Awards Ceremony Thursday evening. Both went really well, and you can see more pictures and read about the winners on the Ashden Awards website.

Also, you can see all the documentary videos about the winners on our YouTube channel, including footage of the conference, but here's a couple to give you an idea of why I've been busy with work for a few months....


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Saturday 11 June 2011

Red Arrows over Rye!

Today was a special day for Rye - we had a Red Arrows display overhead! They were preceded by a Spitfire, and there were also military vehicles on display and various other activities. Let's start with the highlight though:

P1080721 Red Arrows over Rye

P1080722  Red Arrows over Rye

P1080723 Red Arrows over Rye

Here's a video of some of the best bits of the display:

There was a Spitfire too, than came by a little while before the Red Arrows:
P1080697 Spitfire over Rye

P1080694  Spitfire over Rye

Again, I took some video too:

Back down on the ground, there were various other activities, including an impressive array of military vehicles from WW2:
P1080688 WW2 military vehicles

P1080687 WW2 military vehicles

P1080686 WW2 military vehicles

P1080685 WW2 military vehicles

P1080684 WW2 military vehicles

P1080682 WW2 military vehicles

P1080680 WW2 military vehicles

P1080679 WW2 military vehicles

P1080678 WW2 military vehicles

And even a 1940s bike!

All in all, a fun afternoon!


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Saturday 4 June 2011

What happens when you give a 4-year old a DSLR camera?

Don't worry, he didn't break it! But he did take lots of pictures!


The photographer is my nephew Joshua, and he's actually not quite four, but will be in a few weeks. He's with us because my sister Cath and my brother Andy, plus Rachel, Joshua and Chloe are visiting this week. It was interesting to see the photos Joshua took, as it showed what interested him. It was people first, of course, such as his Mum and Dad with Tracy:

My sister Cath:

His Dad and his uncle Mike:


and his sister Chloe, sleeping in our firewood shelter to get some shade:

but then he moved onto objects that interested him, like where the water came from:

the fire:

his name written on a stool with charcoal:

coppiced trees:

part of the firewood shelter:

The base of an oak tree (remember this is all from a height of 3 feet, so the top of the tree is a LONG way off, and maybe not interesting because of that...):

and finally some lifting tongs:

When he wasn't taking photos he was either toasting marshmallows:

looking cute:

looking strange:

or looking scary!

After lunch we went to the other side of the wood to pick up some more materials for our firewood shelter. There wasn't room for everyone in the car, so Andy and Joshua rode in the trailer, which was great fun!

Oh, and before I forget, Cath had a go driving the car as well, up the woodland track, as she doesn't have a driving licence so can't normally have a go.

Over the other side of the wood, the foxgloves are looking amazing now:
DSC_8120 foxgloves

But after admiring them we got down to work:

Even Chloe found she could help:

and Joshua found he was easily strong enough to get involved (and earned himself £1 to go on a fairground ride later as well...)

One last pic - Joshua's been looking for things he can take back to his pre-school class to show them what he did over the holidays, so he was delighted to find this pheasant feather to add to his collection of stuff:

That's all for now...


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Wednesday 1 June 2011

A quick update

We've been pretty busy recently, helping a friend move house and building a firewood shelter in our garden at home, so not a lot of time for photos and posting to the blog... I'll start writing about how we're building the firewood shelter shortly, but for now here's a few pictures from the woods, taken this weekend.

While collecting materials for the firewood shelter we got our Suzuki and a trailer all the way into Sweep Wood for the first time:

DSC_8053 Trailer full of Hazel

This included driving over the culvert, which worked just fine:

The area we recently coppiced in Sweep Wood is growing very rapidly, despite the dry weather:

There's another new plant there as well, Hogweed I think:
DSC_8054 Hogweed

The old Hornbeam pollards at the edge are recovering nicely - we'd like to lay this growth into a hedge in a few years:
DSC_8057 Pollarded Hornbeam

And there's another pollard, which we created to set up a bench for felling, and then left as a handy bird table to leave food on:

now it looks like this, and will be an interesting looking tree soon I think:
DSC_8056 Pollarded tree

That's all for now..


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