Monday, 15 April 2013

Coppicing and chifchaffs

On Sunday we had one of our working management mornings at Filnore Woods.  There was some path clearing and cutting back of encroaching vegetation and a bit of coppicing. 

Derek and Steve coppicing
Alan and Steve with the finished job

We have harvested a lot of fairly stout poles from the hazel stool near the footbridge.  We shall use these to add to the steps up the steep slope and to make the slippery path through the valley woodland easier to negotiate.

Poles thick and thin for use on site

A by-product of this operation is a pile of material which can be used as pea-sticks.  Help yourself.  The sticks are lying on some metal sheets near the footbridge.  You will need a pair of loppers to trim them up a bit but there is plenty.  Leave it tidy afterwards if you would.

Pea-stick material - first come first served

The hazel stool looks ravaged but there is a considerable root there so lots of fresh growth is expected.  In a few years' time this hazel stool can be coppiced again to produce another crop of poles.

The hazel stool

The stirrings of Spring were evident everywhere.  Primroses in the Valley Woodland are looking really good at the moment.  And we heard several chiffchaffs for the first time this year.  They nest on the ground hidden away in the brambles and scrub but they like to perch high up in a tree to sing their cheery 'chiff chaff chiff chiff chaff chiff chaff choff'' song.   (There may even be a 'chuff' in there sometimes.)  Plucky little creatures to be so full of life, after flying from their winter quarters by the Mediterranean, to be with us again.

Chiffchaff singing

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