Woodland Blog, Owning and Managing

By Andy the stuff doer

It’s about time I started recording what’s happening with our woods.  I’ll be jotting down things as they happen here on the blog. At some point various bits and activities might go up on the website in a more structured way.

The Our Woodland Story so Far

We bought the woods at Auction back in April 2010. Why? Well we both fancied the idea and it was coming up for Wendy’s Birthday.  So best Birthday presy ever. The Kids get somewhere to play pretty much unsupervised, away from computers and telly etc. I get to play with chainsaws, and indulge my “getting back to nature” side and my interest in ancient crafts.  It will also give us a lifetime supply of timber for the wood burning stove.

We’ve been getting up there as often as we can, it’s only a couple of miles away. But not as often as I’d like, ther’s been so much going recently it’s sometimes hard to get away. We’ve camped a couple of times and really we’ve just start to get to know the place.  The Kids and their friends love it, rope swing, seesaw, bows and arrows, tree house building and just getting muddy. It great that pester us to go and never want to back in the evenings.

The Current State of the Woods

Some of it is ancient, some developing from scrub,  the bulk was clear felled and replanted 50 years ago. It mainly Beech, Sycamore and Oak with larch nurses. Its been left to fend for it’s sell for many years and in need of some serious attention.  We knew this when we bought it, but thought well there’s no real rush we can take it steady.

The Larch have done their job and need taking out. Some have fallen and I’ve started clearing them. The hardwo0od needs thinning so it can start to bulk out and there’s plenty of self sets to sort.  I’ve started mapping all 7 1/4 acres with view to writing up a management plan.

We’re getting to know the wildlife  and other vegetation. There’s badgers, foxes,  hares that we like and the squirrels that we don’t, they are attacking some of the trees nearly to point of fully ring barking.  The bird life is getting use to us being around, Buzzards, Owls, Wood peckers, Wrens and loads more. I’ll ask Wendy to write up the list as well as auditing the other flora and forna. 

The drainage has been neglected along with everything else. We have “issues” yes that is what they are called. The woodland is on a hillside, some of it is an escarpment, water drains out between layers of soil stone and clay.  This gathers at one point in a marshy area, another habitat I want to preserve. However the neglected drainage is causing the are to spread.  So that leads me nicely to first specific job I’ve been working on. – Woodland Ditch Digging

Apart from that we need to get some logs out for the winter burning season. That’s thrown up another project that I desperately need to sort. – Woodland Access Vehicle

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