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About JonnoR

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  1. It does indeed mate, cheers (although these sorts of threads do start burning a hole in my threadbare pockets)! I know they're less flexible, but I'm seriously looking at these iron horses: http://media.lennartsfors.com/2018/03/Product-information-The-IH-Classic-and-Flex-2018-ENG2.pdf You've seen a little of the wood, and I think given it's relatively small these would act as a mini forwarder, then I can buck it all up and stack them next to the track to the house. They also have some auger attachments for planting up and I can load them in the back of a van and help out my neighbours (in exchange for firewood maybe). For about €13000 all in, new. Not sure that an Alpine tractor and a few PTO attachments could come in under 18-20k.
  2. Here's how to do it: https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/pdfpubs/pdf08672325/pdf08672325dpi72.pdf
  3. This week I had a visit from a forestry consultant of the French forestry agency 'CNPF' (which supports private forestry). Super helpful guy, who is putting together a non-binding management plan and who gave me a wealth of information about French legislation and sources of available assistance . There are parcels of land with hazel coppice under oak standards (with holly trees around too) and nice oak plantations with both ash and hornbeam nursery trees. There are a few walnut, a few (Norway?) maple trees and some very mixed, brushy areas (plus one solitary cedar tree) dotted about. Having actually now gone around all the wood, there are some absolute monster oak and ash trees, which I'm chuffed to see. What really did surprise me was the number of self-seeded oak seedlings in areas where the canopy was opened up- a couple hundred per square meter in places I'd hazard to guess. There's a good amount of Ash to gradually thin out, to permit the oak to spread out now they've got some decent height. It all seems quite manageable, He recommended a 16" bar chainsaw as all I would need for the majority of the work in the next few years. There are free courses available to minimise the risk of me cutting my nuts off, so I'll be sure to profit from that before anything else! Thanks again, I'm very grateful for all your advice, both here and in PMs in recent weeks. I'll get the camera out again soon, and keep you updated if there's any interest. Jonno
  4. That would be interesting. Their nitrogen-fixing ability would be useful if I distributed it throughout a paddock I want to convert to an orchard. There are some wetter areas of that paddock, which might make for a useful area to plant Alder. The ability to control their height to prevent competition with fruit trees would be useful. Thanks for the tip.
  5. Few more pics. There is a sh1t ton of ivy all over the place, and whilst I believe it makes good habitat, it does seem to be excessive to my eyes. Should I be getting shot of some of it, particularly on the trees showing promise for the future? There is one area which looks to have been managed as hazel coppice under oak standards (with some other random hardwoods seemingly thrown in for good measure). There are also areas showing signs of natural regeneration following blow downs etc. I would like to smash a block of birch in to the mix, particularly on open areas around the edge of the wood, if only for autumnal tints and guilt-free firewood in the future!
  6. They look absolutely great! They seem to have a decent number of dealers in France too.
  7. I'm really interested in (and grateful for) the discussion so far. I have at least a year to get to know the woodland better before even considering anything approaching human intervention (beyond looking at unsafe trees near commonly used rides through the wood). I also have the opportunity to look to see what happens to some clearings within the wood which seem to show no sign (yet) of self-seeded saplings popping up to fill the space. In the meantime I can satisfy my meddling instincts by returning a recently cleared area of woodland, converted to paddock, to woodland, or making an orchard. The temptation to get some pigs in there is there, but I'd rather eat venison! Cheers, Jonno
  8. About 2.5 hours East of Bordeaux, close to Limoges. There is tonnes of forestry around here. So much in fact that every man and his dog is selling firewood. I saw a load of mature oak lumber just being smashed up for firewood. Pity, but I'm sure there must be someone who sees the benefits of a home saw mill. There's a few furniture makers who must be paying firewood money for lumber and getting some decent furniture-grade material out of the deal!
  9. That's the plan. I will make it safe for others by ensuring the rides don't have any dangerous boughs along it and then leave it for a year. I'll see what happens then put together a plan. I would like to ensure that I can get amongst the deer a bit (I noticed a fair bit of damage today) so I'll stick a couple of high seats up and take a survey.
  10. I will do my best to update pictures throughout the year. I'll let you know I get on with the forestry authorities too (but I hear pretty good things about them and they don't seem to intrusive). I got the woodland essentially for free, as it came with a well-priced house. Looking at international sites, the prices seem high for forestry alone, because they are aimed at leisure users. I think once you start looking around locally you can find pockets of forestry for sale for very little in comparison to UK prices. So much of France has privately owned forestry, that it might be a buyers market. I'm still settling in, but I'm hoping that networking a little with French farmers etc in the will let me look in to getting a little more land in the future.
  11. Thanks rapalaman, that's not a bad shout. I'm told there are some monster catfish in there somewhere and I have a couple of mates threatening to visit me to have a crack at them! I think it'll take me a year or two to settle in properly, after which I should be ready to explore options for the property to pay for itself. I'll share any pictures of my mates' catch! Cheers, Jonno
  12. Thanks Big J! That's actually a slow moving river believe it or not! It is dammed further downstream so this section is more like a lake than a river. It seems to have lots of potential and some degree of taming will definitely make it more useable and productive. I think the oak is typically left until a useable size for making wine barrels round here. I'm not sure how long they left them before harvesting, but I'll get in touch with the French private forestry unit round here and get them to look at it for me I think (so long as they don't try to place too many restrictions, or impose a management plan that doesn't suit my needs). My main priority is to ensure it has a diverse ecology and is a habitat for deer (which I'll harvest). I've largely missed the boat this year, so I'll carry on taking a look around and check out the state of the rest of the place (the photos are one section of about 4 acres, so I need to get round the rest to see if it's all the same! Cheers, Jonno


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