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the village idiot

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About the village idiot

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 18/09/1977

Personal Information

  • Location:
    Suffolkshire
  • Interests
    woodlands and their possibilities
  • Occupation
    woodman
  • Post code
    ip6 8eh
  • City
    ipswich

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2,977 profile views
  1. Hi pelerin, Welcome to the forum and thanks very much for your thoughts. You make a very valid point. It is not necessarily a clear cut decision whether it is best to sell the resource as cordwood or split product. It will depend very much on each person's individual circumstances. In my case I am extremely fortunate to have a co-worker whose wage is covered by woodland grants and the woodland owner and does not come directly out of the product derived revenue. This is highly significant. We roughly double the sale value of the wood we cut by processing it over the summer. The additional costs of doing the processing (labour, machinery, sundries, income tax) are more than covered by the increase in value. That being said, the profit is not large and a creative thinker might well find that they can be more profitable spending their time on another activity and selling the wood as cord. We enjoy doing the firewood and haven't yet found a summer activity that we would prefer to do instead. I am not at all bothered what someone makes financially from the firewood once it has left us. If they are happy and we are viable then I am happy. We don't really think of ourselves as a firewood business. We are woodland managers with firewood production being one of our activities. Regarding VAT; my turnover is less than half the VAT threshold but I have registered voluntarily. My two main firewood buyers are both VAT registered so it is not an issue for them, and it is very beneficial to claim the VAT back on any purchases I make.
  2. In my experience, 'low impact' has a lot more to do with the timing of operations than it does with the nature of the machines that you use. If you're serious about being very low impact you have to wait for the right ground conditions. The best combination I have found is large-ish machinery (meaning fewer trips) in very dry conditions. In Liam's case, working in a variety of small plots, large machinery is probably not very practical. With the range of activities you will be undertaking I would put an alpine tractor and trailer at the top of the wish list. I'm not sure that a quad bike is versatile enough (or heavy enough) for a commercial woodland operation. An alpine on flotation tyres might well have lower ground pressure than a quad. Also have in mind that it is often the trailer rather than the tractor/quad that does the most damage.
  3. Great stuff Liam. Looks like you are having fun! Presumably you'll only be able to extract to roadside with the quad and trailer. What's your plan from there? Do you know what the owner's plan is for the area you are cutting. Are they going to re-plant or wait for natural regeneration? I think there is a grant available for re-planting after 'chalara clearance', but I imagine it probably needs to be applied for before the felling stage. Keep the pictures coming.
  4. I had a pair of those for a while but got tired of picking up acorns every time I sat down.
  5. Great stuff, and thanks for posting pictures! Do you always burn your brash or is it a site specific decision? Can you tell us more about your set up? What sort of deal do you have with the landowners? Are you finding enough sites to be viable? Is woodland management the core of your business? Did you enjoy your lunch or did you wish you had brought something else?
  6. Slightly off topic, but I was on a stag do recently. One of the guys was an engine engineer boffin, and another was high up in Enterprise car rentals. They were both convinced that Hydrogen should be the future for car propulsion rather than electricity. There are a couple of technical challenges to overcome first though. Hydrogen is by far the most abundant element in the universe so you would think it had quite a lot going for it.
  7. It is thought very likely that us humans along with pretty much all the other modern day mammals evolved from an insect eating furry creature not too dissimilar from our friend the bank vole. It's fun to imagine how different life would be if we were still the prey item for a host of huge hungry predators that could swoop down out of nowhere and rip us to pieces. Paradoxically, our biggest survival threats now come from the polar opposite (microscopic) end of the spectrum (bacteria and viruses). It's a funny old world.
  8. It's a good shout. They're cute little creatures who apparently love chowing down on blackberries. Superb Owl fodder too by all accounts.
  9. WHO WOULD LIVE IN A HOUSE LIKE THIS? We found a rather curious hole in a ditch bank yesterday. Something has tunnelled in and excavated some surprisingly sandy soil. Our conservation guru Juliet wondered if it may have been a water vole that has been flooded out of it's regular home and taken advantage of a temporarily wet ditch as a new home from home. Anybody got any ideas?
  10. There are plans afoot for a very big barn. Updates on this as negotiations progress.
  11. Presumably he has customers all over the country too? Birch bundles are costly to transport. I wonder how much total area of birch coppice he needs to earn enough for a living?
  12. Had to look that up. It's a bit bizarre that downy birch is called white birch as it is much less white than silver birch. We have downy birch and silver birch in the wood already. They tend to hybridise also so we just call everything Birch. It suits our simple nature.
  13. Wow! We do produce a limited amount of birch bundles for horse jumps already, but yes, it could become a more integral product for us in time. A huge area must have been cut to produce that load. They pack down to nothing when you bundle them up.

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