Hazel, willow, beef and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Posts by adminguy

A farewell to fires?

A farewell to fires?

I heard earlier this week that the Mayor of London’s office is considering a ban on wood burning stoves and open fires in some parts of the capital where air quality is very poor. This is due apparently, to the high particulate content of wood stove smoke. My initial reaction was one of horror, of […]

An absence of swifts?

An absence of swifts?

I am very fond of swifts. Apus apus, that torpedo like aerial master that appears here in the UK during early May and is gone by mid-August. Alongside their cousins the swallows (RAF chaps of 1940s vintage with huge moustaches) and martins (pleasure fliers – talented yet amateur), swifts are NASA pilots, destined for special and […]

Willow fencing made in situ

Willow fencing made in situ

I like making willow fencing on site, it creates a feeling of continuity and produces a result that is more seamless than the alternative – bringing in pre-made panels. Of course making in situ isn’t always possible. Where perhaps the ground doesn’t lend itself to driven posts or where the fence needs to be set […]

Wassledine lumpwood charcoal goes to ...

Wassledine lumpwood charcoal goes to market

We are pretty excited about getting our first charcoal into a local retailer. So a big thank you to Stephen’s Plants on the A507 at Maulden, Beds (great bijou garden centre with expert advice on hand) for giving us this opportunity. Even after extensive research during 2016, including a trip to beautiful Sussex to attend the wonderful and dare […]

Neospora caninum – closure of a...

Neospora caninum – closure of a permissive path

Neospora is a protozoan parasite that requires both cattle and dogs to complete its life cycle. The dog eats placental or foetal material infected with the protozoan, it then sheds oocysts (the eggs) in its poo which persist in the environment for a long time. Cattle then graze an area where the dog poo has […]

A year at Centenary Wood

A year at Centenary Wood

Unbelievably, it’s just about a year since we cut the first hazel at Centenary Wood, between Pulloxhill and Greenfield, Bedfordshire. In fact it was 12 January 2016 when we started. All in all, the trial has been a success and the new growth, although variable in vigour is pretty good. The wood dates from the […]

Pea sticks – the bees knees for...

Pea sticks – the bees knees for peas

We’ve cut more hazel in Bottoms’ Corner this winter than ever before and that means there are vast amounts of pea sticks to be bundled and sold. Good news for us because we are receiving orders for large numbers from commercial gardens. It seems that word is getting around the gardening world about hazel as a top stick […]

The joy of wrap

The joy of wrap

We’ve spent a lot of time recently cutting hazel in Bottoms’ Corner but just before Christmas were running a wreath making workshop at Jordan’s Mill near Biggleswade and needed some willow. At the same time we’d received a few orders for Christmas presents and decorations and that meant more willow. So the clearing saw had its […]

Muntjac

Muntjac

It would be easy to be critical of some individuals amongst our forebears. Actually that’s true in a much wider sense than the one of which I was just thinking. In this case however, I’m thinking of those probably well-meaning people in the past who thought it would  be a good idea to move species, both plant and animal, around […]

Who was this Pope bloke anyway?

Who was this Pope bloke anyway?

We own about four hectares of woodland of which one, Chester Wood, is ancient semi-natural. The rest is a plantation: Bottoms’ Corner, created in 1999. The ancient woodland is a strip that survived the destruction of what may have been a much larger wood of which no records survive as far as I know; its removal must have […]