Well, for a while there we thought that spring had sprung, and so it would seem did the snowdrops. After what seemed like a long winter, suddenly there is a dash to get all the jobs done before spring arrives properly (whatever happened to hibernation?). For us, winter has been frenetic, with volunteers creating the beds, paths and structure that will allow us to plant once the weather warms up a bit.
The race to finish work in the woods has begun, before the sap starts to rise, and you can see the young growth thriving around the places where we have taken out trees and allowed the sunlight to penetrate. As well as our own woodlands, I have been helping Eugene with his own in return for his amazing help here.
This fifteen year old poplar and ash plantation has been left to its own devices, and we are just managing it for the first time – thinning the trees, stacking the timber to dry, for poplar rots quickly if left to lie; and clearing tracks through the woodland. We’re even thinking about getting a few pigs to help with the work, and to fatten over the summer.
We made this wooden rocket stove below after seeing the idea in Woodlands magazine, and it works amazingly well –
Soon the woodland work will be done, and we’ll (hopefully) have sufficient trees felled to season for next winter.