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Woodland Custodianship

Discussion in 'The Homestead' started by Broch, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    It is a problem. Until I got an ATV I had to walk everything into the wood which is quite steep in places. The other problem being that any serious accidents would take a long time to get hospitalised (I suspect you'd get evacuated from the top of Ben Nevis faster than from our wood). But, some decent wound dressings and the normal FAK shouldn't be heavy; maybe a bit bulky.

    I seriously don't think I could leave anything down there; not even in the small toilet building (think shed on stilts). Apart from the damp I don't think I could rely on it staying safe from rodents. I suppose I could get a good metal box - maybe a sealed plastic box inside a metal one. You've got me thinking now! :)
     
  2. Paulm

    Paulm Full Member

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    Old ammo boxes are good for that, just the right size, metal and with a lid seal, bag up first in case of condensation and then pop in the box.

    Sent from my SM-A530F using Tapatalk
     
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  3. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Finally managed to get a contractor to do the fencing; he'll be starting in a week's time. I haven't even got a price yet (he's sending it over tomorrow) but I'll have to pay it whatever it is (don't tell him that!).

    Once that's done, and I've got the sheep out, I can get back to the plan. I've missed this year's coppicing but the sheep have eaten all last year's coppice growth so I decided another year wouldn't do any harm.
     
  4. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    A Dilemma ……

    The fencing is delayed due to the wet weather and the severe slope they will be working on :( but I have a bit of a dilemma.

    The ash tree below is sitting right on the fence line. It is clearly past its best with a large fissure running up its trunk but is exactly the kind of tree that woodland needs with nooks and crannies, ivy growth and dead upper branches. It will almost certainly come down in the next few years and, in doing so, will damage my new fence (which, by the way, is costing me a little short of £2,000 to get done).

    So, do I take it down now and lose this wonderful habitat or do I leave it and just fix the fence when it falls? I am inclined to the latter.

    ash tree on fenceline - 25.jpg
     
  5. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    That's a bit of a dilemma isn't it? With all the ash dieback we need to keep as many ash trees as possible. How sturdy is it? If it stands up to the recent storms you will doubtless get another season from it at the least. If you were to fell it could you leave the trunk as a habitat pile? At least then it would provide a home for all the insects and small beings of the wood so it would still have some value.
     
  6. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Yep, I don't like felling any trees unnecessarily especially the older ones.

    There is a lot of fallen wood, including old trees, in various stages of decay (from new to blending into the leaf litter :) ). I think, if I have to fell it, I'll try and use the wood.
     
  7. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    Well you'll certainly have plenty of firewood, walking sticks, spoons and bowls!
     
  8. greenshooots

    greenshooots Nomad

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    take it down your not a charity wood has to earn its keep,

    greenshoots
     
  9. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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    Do you know which way it's likely to fall and can you route the fence the other side? If there are plenty of similar trees I'd drop it before the fencing.

    We've just had a large oak tree fall. I noticed it was leaning a bit more than usual over the last few months and it actually fell while I was watching it (my dog was a bit worried though). It's a shame as it had lost a few branches years ago so some decent holes were starting to open up. Still plenty more about and it'll provide a decent amount of firewood.
     
  10. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    It's on the edge of a 15 acre wood of mostly ash and oak. But, putting it into perspective, if I leave it up it will probably provide habitat and shelter for a mass of wildlife for 2 or 3 years. Then, when it falls, it will cost me around £20 in materials and a couple of hours of time to fix the fence and I'll still have all the wood. Putting it that way, I think it's a no-brainer; I'll leave it up :)
     
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  11. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    I'm glad you have decided to keep it a while longer. I think trees should be able to live out their natural lifespans. We can be too quick to decide that because nature might not be quite how we want it to be ,to intervene. Trees have feelings too!:)
     
  12. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Today's task - to make safe these two large windblown tree trunks that threaten to come down onto the ride.

    The initial plan was just to cut near the root ball and roll the trunk onto the track - Plan A failed - it wouldn't roll even with a large lever behind it so Plan B was to pull it down with the winch. Clearly an operation that needs doing with care!

    I have to do most of these jobs on my own, I know it's not ideal but I have no choice, so I meticulously work out the risks and the best way to proceed. The great thing about this type of winch is that you can operate it from well outside the danger zones (unlike a Tirfor style).

    Job done! :)

    tree - task - 1 - 25.jpg

    tree - task - 2 - 25.jpg

    tree - task - 3 - 25.jpg
     
  13. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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    What model of capstan winch is that and how have you got on with it?

    Long term I will need to extract logs up a steep slope and I will probably invest in one myself.
     
  14. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    Well done that's a big log to move on your own. Respect!
     
  15. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    It's an Eder Powerwinch PW 1800 made in Germany. I am really pleased with it, very easy to use and very safe (for a winch). It's not light at 14Kg but that's probably less than my Tirfor. Much more practical than a vehicle mounted winch and faster and safer than a hand winch. I bought it specifically so I could lift large bits of timber up the slopes and onto the track where I could process them.

    It was the winch did all the work :)
     
  16. Tony Morel

    Tony Morel New Member

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    Quarterly Update.
    I followed PaulM’s suggestion about putting the first aid kit in a dry sack and putting that in an Amo tin.
    Needed to put the tin off the ground as it still got damp at first so we square lashed some branches to fashion a storage rack, and once we did that, it’s been bone dry.
    My comparison kit was damp pulp within a month but this is still going strong after four very soggy months. Obviously my main first aid kit comes in and out with me and is dependent upon what forestry work I’m doing, but at least I know all paths in our wood intersect here so easy to guide visitors.
    Also stuck in the box a laminated business card sized sheet with co-ordinates of where they can get an air ambulance to land as visitors wouldn’t know that.
     
  17. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Oooh, good idea - I'll do that at our base camp - after all it may be me (the only person that knows the location) that needs the ambulance!
     
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  18. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Down in the wood this afternoon. It's a beautiful afternoon here so a very pleasant stroll for a change (as opposed to me going down to work). We're still doing our bio-diversity survey (it will be never-ending I think) so I was delighted to find Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula).

    We've also now finished the fencing and got the sheep out so I can get back to the plan (though, clearly, coppicing will have to wait till Autumn). I've decided not to take up fencing as a career :) - helping the contractor for the week saved me money but I ache all over :(

    woodlanf track - 2056 - 25.jpg

    early purple orchid - 2056 - 25.jpg
     
  19. Laurentius

    Laurentius Native

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    There is a bit of an update on my activities. I originally annexed a bit of unloved Council land to make improvements. I have recently been open to a couple of Councillors about it, and there is even the prospect that I could be given a lease for it.
     
  20. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Wow, that's good news!
     

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