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About Gnarlyoak

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    Senior Member, Raffle sponsor 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

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    Freelance climber
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    SK15 2AU
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  1. They way I read how the Chancellor's bailout package for SE would work is this: Based on your past 3 years self assessment tax return (SETR) HMRC would work out what your average monthly income is. The government then provide you with 80% of that average monthly figure in lieu of the work (it is assumed) you have had to give up in order to comply with the government request for you to put yourself in lockdown to help the authorities deal with a national crisis. The plan is for HMRC to contact you in June, to inform you how much you are entitled to, and you will then be invited to accept or decline. You cannot apply for it directly, it is strictly by HMRC invitation only. You cannot dictate how much you want or receive, they will tell you how much you can get, period. The sum of 80% of your average monthly income is based on the 3yr/36mth tax returns less 20%. So if over your last 3 SETR you stated you earned £11k; £12; £13k per annum respectively then HMRC should calculate that your average monthly income is £1k p/m (11k+12k+13k=£36k ÷ 36mths = 1k) less 20% = £800 p/m. If the lockdown is in place for 3 months then you will be invited by HMRC to apply for £2400. You will be expected to declare this sum to the HMRC on your SETR that covers the 2020/21 tax year plus any other revenue that you receive during your regular trading in this tax year and you will then be expected to pay tax and NIC's as per normal on the full amount. It's not free money, but it is a taxable compensatory sum to help you survive the national emergency by complying with government instructions to stay at home whilst still providing you with the means of keeping your lights on; a roof over your head and food on the table. At least that's the way how I read the scheme would work. But I'm no expert and I have been snorting my gran's ashes from the urn on the mantlepiece whilst sat with my head next to a 5G transmitter!
  2. Yes. Trim/cut the tops down to the top of the pleacher frame. Let the trees divert their energy to the side growth not top growth. Tie in as the side shoots develop following the outline of the pleach frames. Hornbeam is pretty resilient, you can cut back as and when you need to get the shape you desire, so not necessary to wait until winter when it is dormant. If you've got a sharp pair of secateurs handy and are self isolating at home at the moment, now is a good time 👍
  3. Goggles & respirator are a complete waste of time. Proper helmet with a visor is definitely recommended. If you do not know what you are doing, do not try to operate a chainsaw up a tree off a ladder. Search chainsaw fails on You Tube and you will quickly realise that some gear & no idea can quickly lead to a trip to A&E or the morgue! Aerial tree work should only be done by a properly trained operative. Just as importantly check with your local authority that the trees you wish to "prune" are not protected or you reside in a conservation area. They may be your trees on your land and they might block your view or prevent you from getting that all round tan but if the are protected you cannot just chop and slash at them willy nilly if your council judges they have an amenity value to the community at large. Even the removal of one branch could lead to a potential prosecution and a fine!
  4. With such a flagrant attitude towards " 'elf 'n' safety" he is clearly not the messiah. He's a very naughty boy! (R.I.P. Terry Jones)
  5. Nope, Honey Bros; Gustharts & Treekit are UK stockists of this boot. According to the manufacturer's website, they are stocked by Freeworker GMBH near Munich. I guess depending on which part of Germany you are based perhaps maybe Safety Green BV in Arnhem, Netherlands or Worksafety, in Kollin, Czech Rep. maybe closer for you.
  6. Couple of other things to note. If you do the ROLO course this does not include the CITB H and S test. This has to be done seperately at another registered test centre so that's another 1/2 or day off to do that plus the cost of the test. If its been more than 5 years (I think?) since you took your chainsaw tickets, then BALI/LISS will not issue you with a card unless you have recently done a refresher. So if you need to do a refresher then factor in additional costs for more time off to do more courses and re-assessments! A massive rip-off/con/scam tis the CSCS "money-go-round" out of your pocket into someone (and/or several other) elses, just to get on site. Unless you're going to get a lot of construction site work you need to ask yourself if its really worth the cost/hassle/bother.
  7. Hi all, Trying to identify fungi affecting a mature beech which has been in decline for a couple of years. Upper parts of the canopy had been dying back from the tips for past 2-3 yrs. This is the first time any fruiting bodies have been seen at the base of the tree. Not seen the tree for myself recently, and the pictures have sent to me by a third party unfortunately show some fairly desiccated specimens! Anyone any ideas? Many thanks in advance.
  8. Oh god, please please please put heated handles on toppers! I'd give my right bollock for this. So with my offer & Mr.Bolam's, that's a full pair of extra bollocks, what more incentive do you need????
  9. Yep, good point Nepia. Reynauds is a circulatory problem, not an inflammation issue. For me personally, I have the dual issue of Reynauds & arthritis, I'm hoping that by taking Turmeric it may have a positive effect on my stiff arthritic finger joints to lessen the double whammy impact of having both problems with my hands on the cold dark dank miserable days. I suppose what I really should do is make an appointment to see the quack & get a script for the Reynauds. But a, I don't need the lecture about packing in the fags & b, being self employed once I eventually get thru to the surgery how do I know if I'll be free in 4-6 weeks time to make the next available appointment!! But now a further update on the glove options scenario. The Stihl function Thermogrip glove are rubbish for climbing. Even more sausage fingered than the Pfanners! Bah!!
  10. Or if you don't have a ratchet strap handy, I find that on pops & willows if you make two small cuts (10-15% the dia. of the stem) either side of the tree parallel and level with the bottom of the gob cut before making the back cut. This helps to dissipate the tension at the back of the tree when making your back cut & greatly reduces the risk of the tree barber chairing. Seems to work for me. Recently felled a stand of big heavily leaning willows. Put a side cut on either side of each stem before the back cut & every single one fell as planned bish bosh bash with no dramas. There was one stem which I decided not to bother using the same method, the biggest fattest of the lot with a 50-60 degree lean into a big wide open area on site. Figured to myself this was only ever going to go one way & didn't need to bother with the side cuts, I hadn't gone the width of the bar on the back cut when the bugger barber chaired in an explosion of splinters and sounded like a mortar bomb had just gone off. The 441 I was using propelled about 10 ft up and over my head at about 100 mph just missing my face & landing about 20 ft away!! But even then given their unpredictable nature I always try to stretch out and lean back in my harness and move head & body as far out of the way of the tree as its comfortably possible to do so before I do my felling cut. All trees have their own certain predictabilities in these situations, and given that (in the video) this certainly looks like a pop I wouldn't be leaning in over the butt end making my cut as this fella appeared to be just because they have that propensity to do exactly what happened! ie: Barber chair without warning and try and take your face off!! EDIT Just realized that obvs in this vid the guy cutting was'nt actually in the position I just described , but perhaps even worse is he's cutting more or less at forehead height. He really should of been stropped into the other stem & slightly higher up so that his cut was in line with the trunk of his body. Cutting from that position at head height really is a recipe for disaster. Complacency is an easy trap to fall into and karma can be a bitch in these circumstances, but as others have said hope the individual in the vid makes a full and speedy recovery & he's able to make a positive out of a bad experience. ie: Ooh, I'll not make that mistake again......
  11. Best glove combo that I've tried so far is Rab Merino Wool base layer with Towa Powergrab thermo as top layer glove. Still just about functionable whilst climbing but you do lose a degree of dexterity & occasionally fumble a bit with ropes & 'biners. Though pretty good on the ground. Still gets pretty brutal on the hands when they get wet though, for me anyway. Also tried nitrile & silk base layers. Nitrile absolutely pants! Just seem to wick away any heat in a nano second wet or dry! Silk not too bad if temp is in single digits and dry, not so good when its cooler or wet!! Have tried Pfanner Ice Grip as a top layer, but these are not so good in climbing scenario, seem lose too much manual dexterity & feels like I've got sausages for fingers when trying to work 'biners. Not too bad on the ground, but again hands begin to suffer pretty badly once they get wet. Have also gone down the supplement route in conjunction with different glove combos, been taking Ginkgo for just over a month now with no discernible positive effect that I'm able to gauge thus far. Have just started taking Turmeric as well now in addition to the Ginkgo. Have also just got a pair of Stihl function Thermogrip gloves as an alternative top layer, not had a chance to use them yet, but construction wise they feel a bit like an "in between" the Towa & Pfanner gloves!
  12. Thanks for all the words of wisdom. Bullet bitten, ZZ ordered. Also ordered a replacement HC, for £40 for pulley & some cord seemed a bit churlish not to. Least it gives me options to play around with whilst I get use to another new climbing technique!
  13. Cheers Steve. That was a bloody quick response, I know it's your site and you're the main moderator, but do you actually have a life outside of AT?
  14. As an oldboy Neanderthal tree climber, I recently progressed up from 14yrs on a prusik to a hitch climber set up earlier this year. Took me a little bit of time to adjust but quite liked the HC attached with a VT knot and in conjunction with a CT foot ascender where appropriate. Also had a "go" on someone else's Zigzag and found that to be a very smooth climb on a big ugly willow, and this had me toying with the idea of progressing again this time to a ZZ climbing set-up at some point in the future when I had a bit of spare cash to play around with. Gutted this morning to find some scumbag scrotey arsehole had broken into my van overnight and nicked my rope bag with my mainline and all the associated climbing paraphernalia therein contained. So I'm having to fritter away my afternoon browsing online sites to order replacements for the gear that was stolen. Seeing as these set of circumstances have forced my hand I'm having a bit of a mental battle as to whether or not replace like for like HC setup or move on up to the ZZ. What would you do? All relative of course, different strokes for different folks 'an all that. But anyone else changed recently, would you go back or do ya love it so much you wonder why it took so long. Was it/is it worth it. Then there's also the minefield of which rope/dia works best with ZZ. Thoughts & recommendations please.
  15. Could this be what you are looking for. Skyland have these in stock, £10.18 (inc VAT) https://www.skylandequipment.com/ct-climbing-technology-qt-universal-support.html


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