Monday 28 May 2012

Ashden Awards 2012 in the news

Just a few quick links for interesting blog posts relating to Ashden Awards stuff going on this week:

Pleased that we have this one in the Guardian:

And a few from our own blog too:

examples of BFP lighting systems
Solar PV lighting from one of this year's international finalists.


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Friday 25 May 2012

Ashden Awards ceremony webcast 2012

Just a quick note to say that the 2012 Ashden Awards ceremony will be webcast for the first time. To see it, go the Ashden website at 7pm on Wednesday 30 May 2012, and follow the link to view it. The ceremony starts at 7:15pm.

To get an idea of what you'll see, check out the video from 2011:


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Monday 21 May 2012

My YouTube videos have passed 1,000,000 views!

Bit of a landmark passed in the past few days - the total number of views of all our videos on YouTube have passed one million! Thanks for viewing.... :-)

Here's the top ten since we started....

Cockatiels that think they are eagles: 195,031 views

Tree felling using a "boring" cut: 159,604 views

Tree felling using a "Danish Pie Cut": 137,547 views

Woodgas camp stove demo: 112,627 views

Pedley wood water wheel: 61,042 views

Chainsaw sculpture: making a stool from a log: 48,563 views

Bulk firewood processing with a Husqvarna 570 chainsaw: 33,804 views

Using a chainsaw at 2 years old: 27,529 views

Tractor with forestry harvesting head attached: 26,520 views

Review: Woodgas MEGA Outdoor Fireplace: 19,518 views


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Thursday 17 May 2012

Nightingales return to our woodland!

Nightingales love coppice with a couple of years' growth, as it gives the thick, bushy foliage they like for nesting. They'd not been seen for some years in our woods, so we were delighted to see one in Sweep Wood yesterday, in an area we coppiced just voer two years ago! Here's a video of it singing - you can't see it, but at least you can hear its song.

Looking down the path from the top of the hill there is really great right now:



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Tuesday 8 May 2012

Super-charged fire pit video!

Almost a year ago we improved our fire pit in the woods by burying a bigger air supply pipe under it:


Well, since then I've been experimenting, and now it's supercharged using a fan from a computer and a 12V car battery, here's a short video to demonstrate:

After making this video we used the fire, along with both woodgas stoves, to cook three varieties of chilli for a group of nearly 30 cyclists (including Tracy's boss) who were on a 300 mile charity bike ride!


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Sunday 6 May 2012

Woodland bluebells 2012

With the wet weather and general busyness it's been a couple of weeks since we made it to the wood, but today I was up there with a friend and had time to check out this year's bluebells, which are looking as good as ever. Here's a selection...

DSC_3945 bluebells

DSC_3948 bluebells

DSC_3944 bluebells

I also saw some fresh evidence of wild boar digging as well:
DSC_3943 wild boar digging

and in Sweep Wood there are several trees that have blown over in the wind over the past few weeks. They're not obstructing anything, so that's a job for the summer I think... Might make a nice natural clearing I suppose?
DSC_3956 woodland wind damage

DSC_3955 woodland wind damage

Looking up the hill where we cut in 2010/11, there's a profusion of plants growing, so much so that the bluebells don't stand out as much as last year, with all the other stuff growing there:
DSC_3959 bluebells

DSC_3960 bluebells

Here's a slightly different view of the same hill a year ago for comparison:

The bluebells are all still there this year, it's just that you can't see them side-on, so they don't look as impressive as last year when there wasn't much else growing there. It'll be made up for when the foxgloves come out soon I expect...

Last of all, the dead oak at the edge of Sweep Wood really stands out now the surrounding trees have been coppiced:
DSC_3962 dead oak

It'll be interesting to see if we notice any woodpeckers or other birds having a go at it...


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