Saturday, 26 January 2008

Royd House Wood

A morning of woodland upkeep, rather than planting. We had been asked by some local residents to thin out some trees that the Society planted some years ago, and we were happy to oblige. This week we had extra helpers, some local Scouts, some friends of Brian's, and several volunteers and veterans who don't get to come out with us very much. Philip had his chainsaw again, and rest of us wielded a selection of pruning saws, bow-saws, hand saws and an axe. It was hard work. Wood warms you twice, as they say, once when you cut it, and again on the fire (some wood was taken off site for firewood, but most stayed on site in the form of brushwood habitat piles).

Pictures this week include Dave looking like Daniel Day-Lewis in last of the Mohicans. Heidi building a den in the woods. Trevor and friend being careful to cut the log not the fence. And Philip and his trusty chainsaw.

Cake was mincemeat cake. Very nice. So too was the beer afterwards.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Hemplow Wood and Marsden Golf Course plantation

Back to the Hemplow Wood site today, to finish planting our 200 trees. We had about 70 left to plant, which was just right as there were only four of us planting. A pleasant morning, not exactly sunny, but the rain held off, and it was quite mild, t-shirt weather for digging for me.

Philip and Dave were the other side of the clough in the Marsden Golf course plantation, doing maintenance work with the Society's chainsaw. Philip had proper chainsaw training last year, and we admired his technique - even if this particular tree was too oddly shaped to be correctly cut. We all agreed that Philip looks very fetching in his safety gear.

Our cake was coconut crunch, which was very popular. Thanks again to my mother for providing us with these homemade treats each week.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Hemplow Wood

This morning we were at Hemplow Wood, overlooking Butterley Reservoir and Marsden golf course. This is a site we have previously planted, with permission and guidance from Yorkshire Water, who own the land. Once again we were checking for failed trees, and filling in any spaces we could find. It is a fairly hard walk to the site, carrying 200 stakes, guards and trees, which meant we started planting quite late, and only got around 120 trees planted. We planted oak, alder, and a few pine. Today's cake was sultana cake. Today was also notable because we were joined briefly by Guy.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Netherwood farm (stage two)

Same farm, different field to last week. Again though, the work involved filling in gaps and replacing failures in a previously planted area.

Heidi and I got to drive up the narrow, vertiginous track to the farm in the car (with all the trees and tools). Dave, David and Philip followed on foot. Not a huge turn out of people, but still a lot of work got done, as I shall detail.

A nice site, good soil and not too hard to dig. Weather held out and was even sunny for quite some time. Nice action shot here of Philip toiling with his mattock.

The site is high and exposed, and windy even on a good day. Previously planted Birch seemed to be doing well. Oaks were doing less well, some seemed to have failed entirely, and others looked nibbled (by deer?). We stuck to planting amongst existing trees because we were wary of established paths and the route of a water pipe through the field. We planted 45 root trainer hazel near to struggling oaks, and 45 Italian Alder on the windy side of the field to try to bolster a windbreak. 15 Sitka Spruce got dotted in amongst the rest. We then planted a further 60 bare root hazel near to existing Oaks. 165 trees in total, not bad at all for five of us.

Todays cake was a delicious but rather heavy home made flapjack, which was so substantial it probably negated the health benefits of all the hard work we did.