Sunday 24 February 2013

A job finished

We've finally finished cutting the trees in Sweep Wood that bordered a garden. The final day of work
included an awkward limb that we wanted to get down while we had access to the garden:

DSC_5718 tree felling

We came up with a plan though, and got stuck in:
DSC_5722 tree felling

Just checking it's going to fall safely and that I can get out of the way...
DSC_5724 tree felling

In with the felling cut:
DSC_5725 tree felling

Half way down... It's Hornbeam, so is very strong and the hinge doesn't easily break during felling, unlike Sycamore.
DSC_5727 tree felling

A bit more persuasion and it came gently to rest on top of the hedge, from where we could cut it up and tidy it away:
DSC_5728 tree felling

Leaving a much neater border tree at the corner of the garden:

Here's the site now it's done, with the brash mostly put back over the fence to make a dead hedge:

We got some hefty chunks of Holly and Hornbeam out of the work, which are now back in the wood:
DSC_5713 logs in trailer

I got straight on and split them right away, while they were still green:
DSC_5715 logs and axe

Last but not least, we also found this when we went to top up our bird feeder...
DSC_5716 Pesky squirrels...

Pesky squirrels had chewed their way into the bird seed container we'd left up there, and then managed to get the lid off... I guess we will have to rethink this bit of the plan!


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Wednesday 20 February 2013

2015/16 UK energy supply crunch

I normally keep my 'doom and gloom' posts to my other blog, but the recent news made me think I ought to post a link to my latest post here. It's about what OFGEM have been saying about the future of the UK electricity and gas supply, and how much it is going to cost us if we want to keep the lights on:

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Saturday 9 February 2013

Cutting an overgrown Holly hedge, and making some new place mats

For the last few Saturdays we've been working where Sweep Wood borders a neighbour's garden. There are border trees there which probably used to be a hedge at some point in the past, but are very overgrown now. Our neighbour would like a view from their house across the wood, we need to cut the trees at some point anyway, and right now their garden is just empty soil as it's being redone. So we've taken the opportunity for fell some trees into the garden, rather than into the regrowing coppice from our work there in 2009/10.

Here's a pic from a week ago, when we'd cleared a gap and started to move brash back over the fence to make a dead hedge:


We've had lots of brash to cut up, as Holly always seems to be very bushy!
DSC_5552 Chainsawing

There's some fairly chunky stems in there:
DSC_5555 Chainsawing

And we're getting plenty of nice heavy logs out of them!
DSC_5561 logs!

At the end of last Saturday we'd created a view like this:
DSC_5566 View after coppicing

Today we went to carry on with the trees at the left...
DSC_5619 Chainsawing logs

Again, plenty of decent Holly logs in there, which will be great in a year or two for keeping the fire in overnight - Holly is very dense and so burns slowly.
DSC_5625 Chainsawing logs

If you were wondering why I'd felled the one above so high, it's because it had ancient barbed wire embedded in it, and I didn't want to blunt the chain on my chainsaw by hitting it!

There's now a decent gap in the overgrown hedge there:
DSC_5631 View after coppicing

Though at either end are a few trees we'd still like to deal with before Spring arrives:
DSC_5633 Trees to cut

DSC_5634 Trees to cut

Here's the pile of logs we have to move at some point - I already did one trailer load when it was snowing a few weeks ago.
DSC_5636 logs in the wood

One last thing - what do you think Tracy is carrying here?
DSC_5629 Moving produce

Answer - our new set of placemats!
DSC_5628 slice of Holly placemat

They're slices cut from a Holly tree that had some kind of fungal infection. We found this once before, in a Sycamore, and the mats we made are still in use at home. Just in the time it took to get home, the Holly had already changed colour, taking on a more greenish hue:
DSC_5642 slice of Holly placemat

Tomorrow we'll coat them with PVA glue to stop them drying too fast and splitting, and then store them in the shed for a year or so. Then they'll be ready to bring indoors and use!


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Sunday 3 February 2013

C&B Seen LED bike light review

I recently bought some new bike lights, which are the brightest I've ever had! It's the 'Commuter Kit' from C&B Seen, with 1200 lumen CREE front LED, and 500 lumen rear LEDs. They also came with a head-torch attachment, so should be useful at night in the woods too... Here's a video review:

I'm very impressed with them, especially compared to the price some places charge for bright LED lights!

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Friday 1 February 2013

Chainsaw videos blog

Just a quick note to say I've started a new blog in addition to this one, gathering together a mix of my favourite chainsaw-realted videos, include my own and others from YouTube. Take a look:

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