Hazel, willow, beef and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Posts by adminguy

A madness of cow parsley

A madness of cow parsley

There’s a lot of it about this year; cow parsley that is. I’ve noticed more of it than usual along roadsides and hedge banks all over the country. Quite often, in spring, it’s easy to be overcome by the profusion of everything after a long winter of grey and brown. It’s usually the very greenness of […]

James and the giant stainless steel d...

James and the giant stainless steel dustbin

We’ve bought a charcoal retort. And that’s exciting. After months of deliberation, long conversations with all sorts of people, attendance at shows and demos and general procrastination, we’ve plumped for one of James Hookway’s stainless steel beauties. Having decided to give charcoal a go, I had a bash with very small and then much bigger […]

Ash bark, a mystery

Ash bark, a mystery

Spending a great deal of time in woodland as I do, means I have regular opportunities to observe minutiae. It feels important to be able to take pleasure in apparently small and maybe inconsequential things. I took this picture a while ago. It’s the trunk of a thirty year old ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior). Some […]

Ridges, furrows, ditches and woodbank...

Ridges, furrows, ditches and woodbanks

It’s been exciting and a bit emotional to start coppicing Chester Wood for a second time, after a twenty year gap. This was in November and December last year and we managed to get one coup cut before Christmas; an area we first cut in February 1997. Chester Wood is a small piece of ash […]

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 […]