Hazel, willow, beef and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Posts tagged Coppicing

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Coppice day with Clophill Heritage Tr...

Coppice day with Clophill Heritage Trust

A day  spent talking about coppicing, ancient woodland and the stuff we do? Hardly a tough assignment really! Given that this is stuff I should be able to do in my sleep, I did spend a whole load of time preparing for it. This was a trial run for the  Clophill Heritage Trust , a […]

A fine retort?

A fine retort?

On Thursday Jane and I took a trip to Suffolk to visit a chap called Graham who I had found posting on a forum populated by all sorts of interesting woody types, but mainly arborists comparing notes on chainsaws, forwarders and other exciting machinery. These of course are of great interest to me, but it […]

March of the bluebell

March of the bluebell

Ah the bluebell – that beauty of our ancient woodlands, that brilliant woodland welcomer of spring. They are flowering right now in our tiny bit of ancient woodland and they look gorgeous in the fragile April sunshine. So welcome in a sea of vivid green, after months of grey and damp. As we all know, […]

Willow harvest creeps on

Willow harvest creeps on

Cutting willow isn’t something to be done in bad weather if it’s not essential; we try to avoid it anyway. It’s physically demanding and is miserable in the rain but hey, we’ve got hats!The worst of it is not being willing to take a vehicle over the ground to pick up all that’s been cut […]

So good to be cutting hazel

So good to be cutting hazel

Cut down trees. Do it now; you know you want to. It’s great therapy even when some swearing’s required when the poor old saw doesn’t start first time. I managed only two hours cutting hazel yesterday before needing to get back to other things on the farm. Actually it’s still a bit early in teh autumn because the […]