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  • Location:
    The Charente, France
  • Interests
    Wing Chun/Photography
  • Occupation
    LANTRA +F Instructor/ NPTC City and Guilds Assessor/Hand Cutter
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5thelement's Achievements

  1. I can’t see why the UK Ash stock will fair any better than the rest of the EU countries affected. I seem to remember Scandinavia calculated less than 6% showing resilience.
  2. I bought a new Toro Turfmaster in the UK before I headed out to France, cost me a grand on eBay, €2400 here. Twin blade, 76cm cut, Kawasaki commercial engine. It has the option for collection bag or side eject mulcher. One thing I really like is the engine keeps running without the blades being engaged whilst you empty the bag, saves a lot of stop/starting. Had it a year, cutting an acre twice a week, never dropped a beat so far.
  3. If your weed is running low though, it’s running low.😂
  4. Was this training, refresher training or Assessment? Was it NPTC who did the training or some other training provider?
  5. This is one of the issues that the Industry faces, varying quality and experience, the same as in many other aspects of the tree work industry. Many employers just book courses with the local agricultural college without doing any research, only to find out that the Instructor is a person from the last years Foundation Degree course, then complain about the poor quality after the event. If I was asked to supply a training manual for my tractor, unless the tractor was very specific with unusual specifications, alarm bells would have been ringing. I would have just used another trainer who knew their stuff rather than pay someone who didn’t.
  6. I hear this nonsense quite a bit. I have been a hand cutter on piece rate for nearly 30 years, I think I have got the hang of it and am pretty efficient by now. I still keep my hand in on the Arb side too, as that’s where the real money is. I became an NPTC Assessor/LANTRA Instructor about 9 years ago, mostly because I enjoy the teaching side and it gave my body a break from the fatigue of commercial Forestry. In the UK I would do 85% Forestry on piece rate, 10% Instructing and 5% Assessing. I can earn more per day cutting a chain of Sweet chestnut, I can earn more per day on tonnage in any decent stand of Hard/Softwood. Any decent subby climber with their own kit can earn more per day than an Assessor. I would love to know where this fabled cash generator gravy train is, because I have certainly never boarded it.
  7. I think he beat Ruiz more because of of a change in strategy from Ruiz, who came in massively heavier, slower and sluggish than he did in the first fight, rather than anything AJ’s camp changed.
  8. I don’t think AJ could beat Usyk if he fought him 50 times, Usyk is far too elusive and AJ is far too static, I don’t think AJ’s camp can come up with any strategy that would allow their man to win. Fury v Usyk would be hard to predict and could turn out to be a classic if it ever happened, I would back Usyk for the points win. Fury would beat AJ hands down, but if Usyk wins again, that is a fight we would probably never get to see.
  9. Joshua will retire after he gets beaten again by Usyk.
  10. Won’t know the results for a while. I think the trick is to keep the soil moist but don’t overwater or fertilise as you just end up with masses of vegetive growth and no crop. I have mulched them with a 4” layer of well rotted wood chip.
  11. Even though I was a bit late this year, starting from scratch in the new place, things are doing okay. First of the Cucumber (Devils food🤮) round Courgette for a change, Baby Sweetcorn as it is difficult to find here and I use it a lot. Tomatoes doing fine outside, first time growing Sweet Potatoes, hopefully they are doing as well underground as they are above. Pears/Apples/Peaches doing fine despite the late frost that lost us a lot of blossom and hammered my Kiwi Fruit right back to the main stem.
  12. Download the current Assessment schedule from the NPTC website, it will tell you everything you will be asked to do practically and verbally.
  13. There is a company in Brighton that collects all the spent coffee grounds from the masses of coffee shops in town. They compress the coffee into recycled card boxes and impregnate them with different fungi, you spray a slot in the box each morning until the mushrooms appear. I got given one for my birthday a while back. Put them in the kitchen windowsill, got a kilo of hot oyster mushrooms after a week or so.
  14. Wakehurst Place, who hold the millennium seed bank started a reintroduction programme for native Black Poplar a few years back. Females are the hardest to find, they where usually cut down around properties because they produce masses of candy floss type material when flowering. They are very localised in the UK, the Kent examples we took cuttings from turned out to be clones from Manchester stock. I only found out how rare they where when I moved down South, until then I had been felling one a week in and around Greater Manchester for ten years, feel a bit guilty now, although I did reveal the whereabouts of several unknown females, there is only one known on council owned land in Manchester, it’s right smack in the middle of the Trafford Centre car park entrance.
  15. Morels also do fantastic in wood chip.


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