Woodlands.co.uk Blog
Woods for sale for conservation and enjoyment

You are here: Home > Blog > Practical Guides

woodland rss feed

Woodlands.co.uk - Practical Guides


Nettle and Wild Garlic Soup

by Liz ~ 16 March, 2021 ~ comments welcome

Many of us taking our daily walks are noticing the very strong signs of Spring with new growth everywhere.  Two classic woodland and hedgerow ingredients are at their best for picking in early Spring, nettles and wild garlic, both are packed with goodness and combined, they make a very tasty and healthy lunch.   It can be incredibly satisfying to forage and make something delicious, with no need for a shopping trip. Add a few extra vegetables, whatever you have available at home.

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) has been a staple in herbal medicine since ancient times. Most concentrated in the growing tips, the plant contains a high content of nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C (ten times more than an apple), and vitamin K along with easily absorbed calcium and iron. Read more...

Small Woodland Ownership - A Positive Experience

Small Woodland Ownership – A Positive Experience

by Will Richardson, B.Sc, M.Sc, MICFor. ~ 10 December, 2020 ~ comments welcome

As a chartered forester and one who believes in the responsible management of woodlands for multiple objectives, it was an educational exercise for me to survey and write reports for owners of small “PAWS  (Planted Ancient Woodland Sites) woodlands” in North Yorkshire sold by woodlands.co.uk and their Northern England team. The survey work was funded by the Woodland Trusts Outreach Department and is primarily concerned with improving the condition and resilience of Planted Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) and Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW) through ancient woodland restoration processes. 

I had the pleasure of meeting a number of different owners across some 13 hectares of mature pine plantation woodland in the Vale of York. The woodlands themselves are an oasis in an intensively farmed landscape. All of the owners I met have the primary objectives of enjoying their woodlands for amenity and personal recreation and looking after them for their nature conservation value. Some had a great deal  of knowledge of woodlands and woodland management , whereas others were starting from a blank canvas but all had a passion for woodlands.  Read more...

swift brick

Swift-bricks: fancy sex in a swift box or in flight?

by Angus ~ 24 July, 2020 ~ comments welcome

Swifts are amazing creatures - they migrate from Europe to Africa and back every winter, they cruise at 70mph and in a lifetime they might fly a distance equivalent to three return trips to the moon.  There is some question about where swifts actually mate - it is certain that they can copulate in mid-air, but they also routinely mate at their nest sites.  Possibly mating on the wing is a lightening quick liaison between individuals that are paired with someone else - a case of a 'swift quickie', that may have the effect of widening the gene pool - even if it's a long shot.  Despite all their aerial stunts, they spend about a month every year incubating eggs or brooding chicks on a solid surface such as a ledge or crevice, an old nest or a specifically designed swift box or swift brick. Read more...

LiDAR - amazing technology for tracing the history of a woodland

LiDAR – amazing technology for tracing the history of a woodland

by Angus ~ 3 July, 2020 ~ 4 comments

Over the last 20 years there has been a revolution in understanding the history of our woodlands.  That's because a technology known as LiDar (Light Detection and Ranging) allows planes to map the forest floor to an accuracy of 4-6 inches (100 to 150mm) which means that earthbanks and holes of any significant size can be mapped accurately.  An aeroplane flies over the woodland with very precise plotting of its height and position and it bounces laser beams off the forest floor to collect enormous quantities of high-precision data.  The cleverness of the technology is that even though a beam is bounced off the ground the signals from trees and leaves can be filtered out: so it maps a detailed picture of the ground surface totally naked. Read more...

tools before

New tools for old

by Dick ~ 24 June, 2020 ~ 4 comments

About 2 months ago, mid-lockdown, I had a major calamity: my outbuildings burned down (see image below), cause unknown although the fire brigade investigating officer suspected a carelessly discarded cigarette butt (the buildings back on to a road).  Although it was originally a stable block, built by the previous owner of the property, I used it as workshop / equipment store / timber store. Everything went: trailer, wood-chipper, ride-on mowers, chainsaws, brush-cutters ….  Even now, after 5 A4 sides of contents lists for the insurers, I am still remembering other things that were stored there.

After a couple of days wandering aimlessly around the wreckage, looking at a heap of ash and cinders which had previously been a stack of oak boards that had been seasoning for about 3 years, I started ‘tidying up’ – shovelling the ash into heaps and sorting the remains into separate stacks: wood, metal and other / unidentifiable. Read more...

Hugelkultur -another use for wood / wood trimmings.

Hugelkultur -another use for wood / wood trimmings.

by Angus ~ 6 April, 2020 ~ comments welcome

In a woodland or indeed one’s garden, there are often bits of wood and trimmings lying around.  Sometimes these can be useful in a woodburning stove or used to support peas & beans / vegetables but another use is in hugelkultur.

Hugelkultur or hugel beds are basically raised beds with a difference - they are filled with rotting wood and other biomass.  They are simply packed with organic material, nutrients and air pockets. They can be an effective way of creating a productive area for growing fruits and vegetables in your garden / woodland.  Instead of putting your wood offcuts, branches, leaves and grass clippings into bags for the ‘green collection’ or the compost heap, consider building a hugel bed.  Read more...

Making a stool from green ash at the Sylva Wood Centre

Making a stool from green ash at the Sylva Wood Centre

by Angus ~ 8 November, 2019 ~ comments welcome

I learnt 10 lessons in making my greenwood stool:

1. It's hard work using an axe to reduce a triangular piece of wood into a cylinder but less hard work than using a draw knife to reduce the timber down to size. With both tools, axes and draw knives, you soon learn to work with the grain and how to make the tools work for you.

2. Using a drawknife is extremely satisfying but it's "the wrist action" that matters - to avoid the blade digging into the wood.  Because you have a hand on each end of the drawknife you can't easily injure yourself, but this didn't stop one of my course-mates from digging the corner into her leg.  This created a small nick that justified getting out the first aid kit. Read more...

shave horse

A shave horse, my kingdom for a shave horse!

by Angus ~ 20 June, 2019 ~ 4 comments

"Traditional bodgers and woodworkers would have spent the first day in a new woodland making their equipment such as a shave horse "explains Adrian Dennett a supplier of wood bodgers' kit.  These are stools where the craftsman (or woman) sits at one end of the 'horse' and uses a foot-controlled lever to hold their work in place.  It's remarkable how firmly this device holds the wood in position and allows the operator safely to shave down a piece of wood.

Shave horses are mostly used for green woodwork (using unseasoned wood) to make items such as spoons, kuksas (small bowls) or chair legs.  Typically they are used to hold rougher bits of wood which are being moulded into shape using a two-handed draw knife. Read more...

Next Page »

© 2021 Woodland Investment Management Ltd | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact us | Blog powered by WordPress