Hazel, willow, beef and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Posts in category coppice

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Trouble with ash

Trouble with ash

It’s several years since what we are now calling Chalara ash dieback was first talked about as a threat to the UK’s stock of ash, Fraxinus excelsior. I think I first saw it in the flesh two or three years ago and at Bottoms’ Corner, our wood in Gravenhurst, in autumn 2014. It was certainly pretty […]

Charcoal – burning bright in my...

Charcoal – burning bright in my mind

I seem to have developed another obsession to add to a few others I have collected over the years. It’s a man thing I think or perhaps men are more obvious about it. I’m not too bad compared to some blokes I’ve come across in the past. I don’t spend weeks away sailing, or long […]

Careful with that faggot, Matt

Careful with that faggot, Matt

We spend hours and hours carefully selecting hazel and tying bundles to make faggots for a river bank restoration job in Leighton Buzzard, and Greensand Trust Ranger, Matt, quite without any thought for how delicate these faggots might be, puts them in place by a none-too-delicate application of his size elevens. Fortunately, they fall into […]

Bluebell therapy

Bluebell therapy

Having left my part time job at Christmas we’ve survived two months now without that regular and comforting clang of money arriving in the bank. We’ve both been working on the farm in the meantime and this is the beginning of what we hope will be our busiest time 0f year, when gardeners and plenty of others […]