Sunday 3 January 2021

Final days of 2020 in the woods

December 2020 brought colder and murkier weather, but it was still good to get up to the woods, especially as pretty much everything else around is closed as we're in Tier 4 restrictions here due to the (mis)management of the pandemic.

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The weather did also allow for some atmospheric photos. I tried processing this one two different ways in Lightroom:

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You may remember in my last post I talked about the Hornbeam we'd been felling. Well, I'd not got round to splitting it, so that occupied quite a bit of my time in December. It's a tough wood to split, especially in long lengths, so I tend to use a chainsaw to put a slot in one end and then drive steel wedges in with a sledgehammer:

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As well as the coppicing, we've also done a few firewood loads for customers:

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We spent Christmas Day in the woods - not just because we were in Tier 4, it would have been our first choice anyway! Fortunately we had a nice sunny day:

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It was of course chilly, but a fire dealt with that

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and we cooked dinner using the rocket stove made by Greenway Grameen in India.

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We got straight back to work after Christmas, felling the final stem of a large Holly tree that was overhanging a neighbour's barn. I'm pleased to report that our battery electric chainsaw, a Husqvarna 540iXP, had no problems dealing with it:

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We had one more larger tree that was also near the barn, a Sweet Chestnut, and as with all the others we used the Tirfor winch to safely fell it, as shown in this video:

Before long we had it in pieces, some of which will be used to make outdoor furniture for the Community Garden in Rye.

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There's still more to do, and we've both spent time staring up at trees wondering where to start!

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Once some more coppice is cut, these Holly trees on the border with a neighbour's garden will need to come down, as behind them is a larger Sycamore that will have to be felled. That's a few weeks away yet though...

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Finally, on New Year's Eve I went to work in a friend's woodland nearby, and we had a great day for it!

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The main job was dismantling some windblown coppice stools, and a bit of winching too.

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That brought the 'interesting' year of 2020 to an end. More coppicing and other woodland activity to come in 2021, and hopefully better news on the pandemic front...


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