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Gimlet

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    66
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About Gimlet

  • Rank
    Member

Personal Information

  • Location:
    Dorset
  • Interests
    Motorcycles, shooting and hedges
  • Occupation
    Commercial hedge layer
  • City
    Dorchester

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  1. Gimlet

    Planning application advice

    The trees will definitely affect the building, depending on species, size and proximity to the foundations. Building regs are very hot on root disturbance nowadays.
  2. Gimlet

    Alder for hedge laying stakes?

    I'm inclined to agree with kav. Never used Alder for stakes but traditionally hedgelayers would have utilised anything they cut out of the hedge. I do all the time. I've used odd bits of dogwood, goat willow, sycamore (very good) and anything else that's the right size and straight rather than throw it away. I wouldn't rely on a hedge to supply it's own materials but I won't turn down a usable stick. Hazel actually isn't very durable. It doesn't rot so much as go brittle. I've tried reusing year old hazel stakes that have been stored off the ground and under cover and they're rubbish. They weigh nothing and snap just under the tension of the binders. Hazel is still there three years after laying but it's not doing much and if the hedge wanted to shrug its bindings off it would with ease. Really, your scaffolding doesn't need to last longer than twelve months because a good hedge will more or less knit itself together in the first season. But saying that midland puts its stakes under more stress than other stake and binder styles and takes a little longer to consolidate than say, south of England. Even so I think you'd be alright with alder. If in doubt, mix em up with the tried and trusted species you've got already and anything else usable that comes out of the hedge as you work. Yards of continuous failed stakes is a problem but Intermittent ones don't matter.
  3. Gimlet

    cleavers

    Other opinions are available.
  4. Gimlet

    cleavers

    A strong well laid hedge will survive cleavers but it's far better off without it. If it's practicable, rake it off. Cleavers will inhibit new growth but won't completely curtail it because it's an ephemeral weed and the hedge will reassert itself later in the growing season. More important is to remove all elder ruthlessly and stop the re-establishment of bramble and while the hedge is young, wild rose species. All these will out-compete, out-grow and kill off neighbouring structural natives and create holes.
  5. Gimlet

    Springwatch

    I think they should do a tie-up program with the deer stalking community. Autumn Cull Live. There could be head-cam shots of beautiful misty pre-dawn landscapes with all those clean humane kills in real time. Even the dimmest townie would be able to correctly locate the kill zone on a deer's flank afterwards and the urban masses would be left in no doubt about what constitutes a safe backstop. There could be live debates with a studio audience: .308 or .243 - which is best? (The correct answer is .308). Important stuff. Ray Mears is a keen stalker. He could host the show and whittle some nice thumb sticks with the spare antlers afterwards. That Hugh Family-Milkingstool could give butchery demonstrations and recipe ideas. And Jimmie Doherty might get involved. He likes tools, gadgets and processes. He could boil the heads and mount the trophies. It could be followed in the spring by Rabbit-Watch: steady, breath, fire - a vermin control special.
  6. Gimlet

    Replacement hip and splitting logs manually

    You need a hydraulic splitter.
  7. Custom knife makers use it for handles too. It's definitely saleable.
  8. Gimlet

    Treating sapling stumps

    Some would pull out by hand but most won't. A manual uprooting tool would do it but I think there''ll be repercussions if I leave the site pock-marked. I also have to dispose of them. As the valley is very steep I'll have to throw them/drag them by hand to the bottom of the slope and shred them there and blow the bits into the hazel coppice area where it can just rot down. It'll be easier to get them to the bottom if they haven'y got the roots attached. I think I'll just cut them with heavy loppers and use a weed wipe. I'll relent and use Glypho as well. It's not going to affect anything else.
  9. Gimlet

    Replacement hip and splitting logs manually

    Good point. I'm 6' tall and my block is barely 18". Like most people, I guess, I just pick the biggest, squarest log as a block and make do with that. Maybe a good idea to find a wide, tall block at 2' + tall.
  10. Gimlet

    Replacement hip and splitting logs manually

    Lower spine is my issue. I hand split all my domestic logs but if I go on for too long I can't stand straight afterwards. I acquire all my firewood in winter as a by-product of hedgelaying so I have all summer to split and stack it in the shed ready for next winter. So for me it's a case of little and often till it's done.
  11. Gimlet

    Treating sapling stumps

    Wildlife won't eat them. There's too many and the site is a steep valley surrounded on three sides by woodland. They've got more than enough to eat already. Plus I shoot the rabbits and control the deer at the owner's request. The site has a lot of yellow meadow anthills all over it and the rabbits can't resist digging these. There's little topsoil to begin with - lumps of chalk show through the surface. The anthills help to stabilise what soil there is and rabbits ripping them apart doesn't help, so they get the bullet. The owners have three wild Exmoor ponies running on the site. They bought them because they're the only grazers NE will tolerate on the site all year round. Their numbers mean they can't make much impression but it's better than nothing. I have seen them picking the leaves off the hawthorn samplings. I've also noted they like to gnaw the bark off the firewood I had piled up in the valley floor where I've been thinning some hazel coppice (NE won't let me cut it fully. Dormice....) though they don't bark the standing trees or eat the hazel saplings. But even if there was a whole herd of these ponies the hawthorn saplings would regrow. And then their hooves would compact the soil, the carpet of low-growing wild flower species would struggle to get a hold and nettles and docks would take over. And so it goes on....
  12. Gimlet

    Treating sapling stumps

    Anyone know of manual uprooters like the Extractigator available in the UK? https://www.extractigator.com/
  13. Gimlet

    Treating sapling stumps

    The sheep haven't made any impression on them yet. There are literally thousands and the ground being SSSI and classified as calcareous wildflower meadow Natural England are very restrictive on stock density and duration of grazing which is why the sheep are having little impact. Typical Natural England, they're very good at telling you exactly what you must end up with together with a long list of things you're not allowed to do to get there and very little else in between. With all the restrictions there's no option but to get rid of the saplings and start with a clean sheet. They have specified spot treatment for stumps and cut bramble bases and spraying only for widespread injurious weeds like docks and bracken. Why not Glyphosate? Because every man and his dog keeps telling me I should stop using it and I wondered if there's a better alternative.
  14. Gimlet

    Treating sapling stumps

    I've got some scrub clearance to do on some SSSI chalk grassland. Eventually it will be sheep grazed but initially I have to get rid of masses of small saplings, mostly hawthorn with some hazel and ash. They will be cut off close to the ground and either chipped or burned but the stumps will have to be treated to prevent regrowth. Most are only two to three feet high and little bigger than thumb size. What's the best herbicide (and application method, bearing in mind how many there are). I want to avoid glyphosate if possible.
  15. Gimlet

    Hedgelaying pics

    Field maple is one of my favourite hedging species. Number two hedgerow star after Hawthorn. A lot of people find it troublesome and prone to breaking. I never have any problems with it. It does grow very fast round here on our chalk soils. Whether that makes any difference I don't know. Those hedges pictured were only planted in 2005 but some of the field maple was seven inches thick. If anything I think big field maple produces a better hinge than small stuff. It's just the crown that can be get a bit tangled. My favourite hedge mix down here on our soils is: 65% Hawthorn 10% Field Maple 25% a mixture of Guelder Rose, Wayfaring Tree, European Spindle, Hazel, Crab Apple and Bird Cherry. Not a fan of blackthorn because it's too invasive and produces too much deadwood. Don't like common Dogwood either. Makes a pretty good hedge and regrows well but very invasive. And why people have starting putting Osier Dogwood in hedge mixes I've no idea. It's utterly useless as a hedge plant and spreads like a disease.

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