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the village idiot

An Idiot's guide to Ancient Woodland management

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6 minutes ago, Stumpy Grinder said:

Puffing Billy?

I seem to remember winning a competition to name it - the prize was a bag of charcoal!!:thumbup:

I don't recall the prize being as generous as that. If memory serves me right it was a lump of charcoal, two at the most.

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This ones for warren, a little fireside reading.

 

It's an article from the local rag's magazine which gives a bit of a countryfile gloss to my charcoal production in the Wood but is a good primer.

 

I'll do a separate post afterwards going into more detail on retort kilns.

 

WWW.SUFFOLKMAG.CO.UK

Tessa Allingham meets Graham Sayell, a man keeping the ancient art of making charcoal alight, and Amy Hardingham...

 

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23 hours ago, AJStrees said:

I am about to start looking after a small woodland and meadow area of about 40 acres on one of the estates sites. It hasn't really had any management for decades. Stuff everywhere. 

 

Getting started is going to be interesting. Mostly mixed broadleaf, not an old plantation of conifers, just semi-ancient woodland untouched and old meadow area that has turned into woodland due to no management. Wildlife levels seem to be quite high which is nice. But lots of laurel and rhodo at the edges, old rocks in there too and pretty steep slopes, maybe it was an old quarry or something, its quite a level change between new and old. One of the old rides has been cleared as a dog walkers route, but that is about it. 

 

Will have to research what the area used to be. 

Definately mow some strips with wildflowers fr yr bee populations. Bumbles esp'. Its astonishing what populations need csrtain flowers to thrive. Birds foot trefoil n vipers bugloss to include a few. K

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I think everyone agrees that there is a great deal of woodland that could benefit from being managed , yet reading TVI's story highlights the fact that it is rarely ( if ever ) economically viable . Even with grants which for most people are a ball ache to apply for even if eligible ! TVI has also found a benevolent and presumably wealthy owner ......I have looked at a few near me after being invited too , however most are steep , rocky , wet and with poor access !!  best of all was one owner suggested I could take trees for firewood , only poor scruffy specimens , no decent ones and then he felt it would be fair that he received 50% of log sales !!  ( i do all felling , cutting , splitting and delivery !!)  needless to say that wood is still left untouched ...The problem is that most owners think the wood is fine left as it is and would not let anyone make money from it unless there is money in it for them and the economics rarely allow this ....sad ... 

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16 minutes ago, devon TWiG said:

I think everyone agrees that there is a great deal of woodland that could benefit from being managed , yet reading TVI's story highlights the fact that it is rarely ( if ever ) economically viable . Even with grants which for most people are a ball ache to apply for even if eligible ! TVI has also found a benevolent and presumably wealthy owner ......I have looked at a few near me after being invited too , however most are steep , rocky , wet and with poor access !!  best of all was one owner suggested I could take trees for firewood , only poor scruffy specimens , no decent ones and then he felt it would be fair that he received 50% of log sales !!  ( i do all felling , cutting , splitting and delivery !!)  needless to say that wood is still left untouched ...The problem is that most owners think the wood is fine left as it is and would not let anyone make money from it unless there is money in it for them and the economics rarely allow this ....sad ... 

 

This is unfortunately all true. I am sure there are other receptive owners out there but finding them will take a fair amount of legwork.

 

For the situation to change significantly we will need forward thinking political intervention. If our Woodlands were valued at the national government level as much as they surely should be it would become more financially rewarding for owners to manage their woods.

 

I am quietly optimistic that a change is brewing. There has been more talk of trees in this election campaign than I have ever heard in the past. Also the ideas surrounding 'natural capital' and 'ecosystem services' are gaining significant momentum.

 

There is also the groundswell regarding climate change amongst the general public. Trees and Woodland are a very easy win here.

 

It will be interesting to see where we are in a few years time. 

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I sat through a FC meeting regarding woodlands in the South East shortly before the opening of the Black Hole at Sandwich.

The guy showed a map of the wooded area in total, it covered a vast area in green, he then superimposed a blue map showing all the woodlands without any form of management plan or rotation, it covered more than two thirds of the green.

I have discussed putting a management plan together with a few woodland owners/farmers near me over the years, most are happy to leave it as it is as they think it is good for wildlife, the others think that their wood is worth its weight in gold, with all the cutting costs, extraction costs, haulage etc sometimes wood isn’t worth its weight in wood!

 

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4 minutes ago, Lowestoft Firewood said:

Where can we buy your charcoal TVI? 

Unfortunately only from the past.

 

I stopped making charcoal 3 years ago. I'll explain the reasons why in the next post.

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3 hours ago, the village idiot said:

Thanks Steve,

 

Do you know if he is qualified, DS1 or DS2. If so I can put him in touch with our head Deer stalker. I am always looking for new recruits.

I’ll find out 

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