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Tracks,  a new solution for the Small Woodland Owner.

Tracks, a new solution for the Small Woodland Owner.

by Matt Marples ~ 21 June, 2018 ~ comments welcome

As a company,  we strive where possible to give a good access track into the woodlands we bring to market. In some instances,  this means just clearing a ride. However, in some cases,  the areas need more drastic action such as creating areas of “stone” tracks or rides. Normally this is due to areas holding water or ground being prone to deep rutting in winter.

We came across a new problem earlier in the year with a ride that ran in a wood that was deemed to be of particular special scientific interest. Natural England were keen that we did not bring any foreign material such as crushed concrete rubble or even local stone into the woodland. Natural England did, however, agree that the ride was unusable and unless we found a solution it would be a mess very quickly. Read more...

The easy way to processing 40 cubic of logs

The easy way to processing 40 cubic of logs

by Matt Marples ~ 23 May, 2018 ~ 3 comments

When I first moved to Sweden, friends from the UK sent me countless books and magazine articles on the culture and tradition of the log stack. How I would become fanatical about length, order and symmetry of my log shed and how by the end of spring I would be  fitter than at any time of the year. Each year the first job of spring time as winter crawls back is to sort out your log store for the following winter. Living in the Northern part of Sweden, winter is a big thing.  Logs are like currency and timing seems to be everything.

You need to cut your timber, and as silver birch makes the best logs for us, its in the depths of winter when the tree isn’t drawing water. Read more...

The Hangi : a traditional Maori cooking technique

The Hangi : a traditional Maori cooking technique

by David Alty ~ 1 May, 2018 ~ one comment

The Hangi is a traditional Maori cooking technique using heated rocks buried in a pit.   I have long wanted to have a go at this ancient cooking technique. When we received an invitation from good friends to join a weekend gathering in the woods I seized the opportunity and suggested a Saturday evening Hangi. Receiving an enthusiastic response I rang a local game dealer and enquired as to the supply of venison. “Ring back next Tuesday when the van is in, if there are any on you can have one.”

Having set myself up for the event, tension mounted as Tuesday approached. Read more...

Building a new 'woodland' teaching area.

Building a new ‘woodland’ teaching area.

by Craig Fordham ~ 2 March, 2018 ~ comments welcome

We’ve been lucky enough to have been residents in a beautiful 100 acre woodland in Ashford, Kent called March Woods for about a year now. My name is Craig Fordham and I run a company called Black Wolf Survival and I’ve been in the outdoor industry on and off for about 20 years mainly specialising in Bushcraft & Survival.  Aside from running sessions for schools, groups and individuals I am also a brand ambassador for Craghoppers clothing and write a few articles for various magazines.

Our basecamp teaching site at March Woods was functional and basic, we’d initially cleared a large enough area to erect a 32ft parachute as a main teaching area and a couple of other tarps we utilise for a kitchen area etc. Read more...

Elver stream

“The dream comes true – finding the perfect woodland”

by Kellie ~ 28 February, 2018 ~ one comment

We had talked about buying land for about 15 years and had been looking seriously for about 7 years. We had a fairly big wish list, private, quiet and secluded, not too near a road, but with good vehicular access, lots of broadleaf trees and some utility trees, a stream or two would be ideal, a sunny clearing with good night sky views and all within our very humble budget!   We looked at lots of  woodlands, but nothing ever really ticked all our boxes or felt right, so we just kept looking and wishing.

A new piece of woodland near us came up for sale so one Friday after work we excitedly went to have a look. Read more...

Composting loos and wild garlic.

Composting loos and wild garlic.

by Mark Reeves ~ 14 February, 2018 ~ 2 comments

It is as the days start to get longer again and the odd shoot of wild garlic starts to show itself, I find myself digging up a rather odd crop. ….    I should first explain  ….    I have been working in outdoor education for twenty five years, much of that time providing camping expeditions for school age children. This takes place in a range of settings. Amongst the challenges these trips present, toileting looms very large. Although bears may have no trouble in the woods, we humans sometimes struggle.

Our options range from chemical porta potties to full composting loos in a cabin, or sometimes just a quick hole in the ground.  Our off-grid woodland camp sports nine composting loos spread across the 150 acre site! Read more...

Ideas for woodcraft from nomadic peoples.

Ideas for woodcraft from nomadic peoples.

by Angus ~ 20 September, 2017 ~ 2 comments

In Siberia, there are some indigenous peoples who continue to live as they have for hundreds or thousands of years.  One such is the Evenks, who are nomadic and live off reindeer (both domesticated and wild) and they build a teepee-shaped houses out of wood and cover it in skins.  When they move on they take the skins with them.  They also have other clever innovations with could provide inspiration for the British woodland owner, such as a “fridge” built high up so as to be out of reach of animals, and they have clever animal traps made with logs.  Some of these seem to be intended to crush the animal and others to trap it (images below).

One tradition they have is that instead of burning their dead or cremating them they leave them on high platforms so that the corpse can be eaten by birds.  This particular idea may be less useful to the British woodsman and might even be frowned upon, especially in the Home Counties.  Read more...

Siberian ideas for a log cabin

Siberian ideas for a log cabin

by Angus ~ 25 August, 2017 ~ comments welcome

Building a log cabin in Siberia is an art that has been developed over hundreds of years and takes account of material available and the extremes of weather.  For example, it may look as though the same logs are used for the whole cabin but in fact for the bottom three layers the Siberians use larch which is more resistant to rotting and carrying water upwards.  Above that they use Siberian pine which is in much greater abundance  - indeed its availability must be one of the reasons that so many of the buildings in Russia are built of wood, even today.  Between the logs moss is wedged into the gaps to prevent draughts and to seal the building from insects.  This moss, again, is freely and abundantly available in most of Russia. Read more...

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