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Woodland Custodianship

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

  1. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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    I have the same problem, I've done a simple Devon style course but would prefer to lay a different style that gives more than a few inches of hedge.

    The young woodland I have could certainly do with the brash rotting down as the ground is still very much field soil rather than a woodland habitat in many places. I just like to wander about the woodland and large amounts of brash doesn't help. I am tempted to burn some, or rather try and make some charcoal/biochar but that would be done in a pit as a kiln would be too expensive and hard to transport. Plenty will still be left for habitat.
     
  2. Nomad64

    Nomad64 Full Member

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    The main difference in the NS and WB styles is the angle of the stakes so not as significant as that with Devon style which is a lot of work unless someone has already kindly made a bank for you. The Wrington & Burrington Association run a course in Jan/Feb which is not too far from you.

    My charcoal retort was just an old 200 litre drum - lots of vids on utube showing how to do it, :)
     
  3. Laurentius

    Laurentius Native

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    Plenty of brash from the brambles I am clearing, I tend to rake it into piles ord trample it down into the boggier parts of the ground to establish a causeway of sorts so I can get down to the lower parts in all weather.
     
  4. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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    Brambles and small twigs are not a problem, it's the stuff finger size up to log size. Material that takes a few years to brake down. An oil drum would be too small to use for charcoal as I'd have to cut up the brash, if I do that I might as well bring the logs back to burn on the stove.

    Hiring a commercial chipper would be another possibility but costly.
     
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  5. Nomad64

    Nomad64 Full Member

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    After I culled a load of leylandii, I hired one of these tracked Timberwolfs for a bit over £100 a day - deals with anything up to 6”. Quite heavy on the diesel though.

    31A8566A-D092-4B67-9AB5-6FA90725BFFF.jpeg

    I kept the bigger stuff for burning and just put the brash through it - you do end up with large piles of chippings though broadleaf chippings would probably be more useful than evergreen ones.

    If I was in your situation and there was some decent hardwood firewood to be had, I’d trim off the brash and burn it and keep the firewood.

    The charcoal was just a bit if fun - I had a load of 2-3” willow and a mate wanted to have a go. One batch under done, the second over - if I get round to doing another it should be spot on! ;)

    070E5D6A-5A49-493C-A28F-6FA7819AEA7D.jpeg
     
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  6. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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    That's cheap, just looking at the local places near me and the small chippers (3") are around £100 a day. I have also thought about buying something small but then there's the problem of transporting even a 50kg machine, or rather getting it in and out of a car. It's a shame as I could do with loads of chippings to compost down.
     
  7. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    For the first time I have walked the entire perimeter of the wood and along the rides (well, we've only had it two and a half years!). The purpose was to mark up on a map and then list everywhere that work needed doing. There's fencing to repair (though my only boundary responsibility is now done) to stop the odd ewe still getting in. I also want to coppice the hazel around the edges and on the rides where it will create a better graduation from the fields to the woods. Also, there's thinning to do (mainly young ash - up to 15 years old and very crowded) and there are a number of fallen trees that need processing. There is plenty of fallen timber away from the edges and rides so I'm happy there's plenty of decaying material on the wood floor.

    Anyway, my work list is now pretty long :) (anyone fancy some time helping coppicing and camping in the wood? :) )

    The fence is pretty secure along a fair bit of the boundary. I always delight in seeing fresh evidence of the badgers moving through.

    PB050033 - 2 - 2056 - 25.jpg

    This is a typical area needing coppicing although some of the hazel is a lot more mature than these.

    PB050034 - 2 - 2056 - 25.jpg
     
  8. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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    Do you have any badger latrines on your woodland Broch? That's how I tend to know if the badgers have been about.

    Thinking about them, on my other bit of woodland the badger sett hasn't been active this year. Possibly moved on or possibly a victim of the cull.
     

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