Posts Tagged ‘coppice’

Way to go

January 1, 2016 1 comment
Path towards the wood

Path towards the wood

The photo shows a narrow path threading its way uphill.

It proceeds along the edge of a wooded precipice towards a coppice which in spring is carpeted with primroses and violets.

Every now and again I cut back the broom and brambles to clear the way through.

I’m not sure who benefits apart from me – crack-of-dawn mushroom pickers perhaps, or boar hunters if they go that way.

Once it was used by solitary, stealthy hunters who built hides and shot songbirds supposedly to impart flavour to their pigeon stew, but I hope we’ve seen the last of them near the house at least.

The path itself is a symbol for how we’re viewing this new year: a steep trudge, arduous, often devoid of waymarks or disappearing altogether, but with a clear goal at its summit. It’s a trail, also, which improves from being cleared of brambles.


Clearing the wood

October 11, 2012 Leave a comment

The dogs were on edge today because there was a lorry crawling along a section of the drive, picking up the logs and smaller pieces of usable timber from the wood that has recently been coppiced.

They had a Hiab with a mechanical grab, and there were 3 of them: one to gather and bunch the wood, one to operate the Hiab, and one to drive the lorry or whatever else needed doing.

The mechanical grab about to descend for the next bundle of wood

I was pleased to see it happening. If they’d left it much longer, the burst of regrowth would have been damaged when they lifted the timber out.

Aftermath of the forest fire

July 22, 2012 Leave a comment

With yesterday’s fire safely out, I walked up the hill today to view the damage.

There was no mistaking exactly where the blaze had got to. The boundary between black soil and unaffected green grass was a hard edge. 

A large number of juniper bushes had been burnt; in some cases half the bush was green and the other half black with little silvery shrivelled blobs instead of leaves.

A half-burnt juniper bush

The fire had come up through the coppiced wood next to our land, crossed the dry stone wall that marks our boundary, and made tongue-shaped inroads into the greenery.

Beyond the wall it was for the most part grey ash with the trunks of trees (left behind when the coppicing was done) rising out of  it. On our side it was black soil with shrivelled or blackened bushes giving way to blessed green grass.

The boundary of the fire

I could see where the firefighters had been stationed but it was difficult to tell exactly what they did to stop the fire’s advance. I’m just extremely grateful that they did.