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More on birds from Woodcock Wood:  Pheasants and Red Legged Partridge.

More on birds from Woodcock Wood: Pheasants and Red Legged Partridge.

by Chris Saunders ~ 21 March, 2021 ~ 2 comments

Nearly 60 Million Game Birds Released in the UK Each Year.     We often see and hear Pheasants in Woodcock Wood during the winter, and occasionally hear the sound of guns that herald their likely demise. But it wasn’t until I saw the recent reports from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) that I recognised the real significance of this annual event.     According to recent research it was estimated that in 2016 up to 47million Pheasants and 10 million Red Legged Partridge were released in the autumn.   At the time of release the biomass of the game birds was more than twice the biomass of all native British breeding birds, and this number is increasing year on year.   Neither the Pheasant nor the Red Legged Partridge are indigenous British birds. Admittedly, the Pheasant has been around a long time in Europe, having been introduced from Asia during Roman times. The Red Legged Partridge is a close neighbour from southern Europe, and a relative of our British Grey Partridge. Read more...


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...

Forest Bathing with me….

Forest Bathing with me….

by Samantha Cellier ~ 1 January, 2021 ~ 2 comments

I’ve always been drawn to natural spaces. As a teenager, when I was first able to drive, so I would round up my girlfriends, along with walking boots, sleeping bags (and a bottle of wine or two) and head out into the Yorkshire Dales. Walking, talking and appreciating natural beauty was food for the soul. We would put the world to rights whilst at the same time figuring out ourselves somewhat - whilst walking the beautiful Dales.

After university, I worked for some years with various charities, mainly supporting victims of sexual abuse / violence, domestic violence, and hate crimes. As rewarding and much needed this work was, I did take a personal toll.  This was when Reiki (a Japanese healing modality) came into my life. I trained in reiki becoming a reiki master / teacher and set up my own private Reiki Practice in 2015.  Read more...


Ponds and Birdlife : More on birds from Woodcock Wood

by Chris Saunders ~ 28 December, 2020 ~ comments welcome

Last summer we decided to build a pond in the wood.  As we have a seam of good clay running through part of the wood, we thought we would try a clay lined pond rather than a plastic liner.  Apparently, a pond requires a minimum thickness of 30cms of puddled clay for an effective seal. As we lugged many buckets of beautiful blue clay from the top end of the wood, across difficult terrain, we realised just what a job this was going to be, even for a modest affair. It was then that we spotted a galvanised feeding trough in a second-hand shop. We bought it, sunk it into the ground, and lined the outside with the clay we had carried from the clay pit.  Pond is rather a grand title for the result, but it serves its purpose perfectly, and has proved to be an asset to some of the inhabitants of the wood. Read more...

solar oven

Solar ovens and woodland cooking

by Angus ~ 21 August, 2020 ~ one comment

I couldn't get the gears on my bike to work so instead of going out I decided to make a cup of tea.  It may seem cumbersome but to make the tea I wheeled out my new solar oven, which is a large parabolic dish and once it's angled it towards the sun, its rays get concentrated onto the saucepan of water.  Actually as I write this, I'm drinking the tea made from water boiled by the said solar oven.  Like campfire tea it tastes especially nice - one enjoys it even more from knowing that it's made with renewable energy.

Our solar cooker only arrived last week and my son and I constructed it in about an hour.  The instructions were only in Chinese so some guesswork was involved and as with constructing IKEA furniture there were bits that had to be undone and turned around in the process.  We put together the six sections of the parabolic dish and then constructed the metal frame which goes on three wheels for moving it around easily. 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...

Springtime at Beauchamp Woods

Springtime at Beauchamp Woods

by Alice ~ 29 June, 2020 ~ 5 comments

My parents and I have recently purchased a piece of woodland of about 3 acres, in Devon, called Beauchamp woods. It is a mixture of semi-natural ancient woodland, larch plantation and a clear-felled area. This is the perfect mixture for us. We wanted to give something back to nature by preserving a small piece of habitat for wildlife, whilst enjoying spending time in our woods. We are loving it and find it very rewarding.

I have some knowledge of woodland management and conservation through my education and work and it is great to have the opportunity to put this into practice. My main aim is to maximise biodiversity, I want it to be the best habitat for as many species as possible. Read more...

Hatherland Woods – Why buy a Woodland?

Hatherland Woods – Why buy a Woodland?

by Clarke Uren ~ 12 June, 2020 ~ 7 comments

I have to confess woodlands have always intrigued me from being a child, be they small, intimate woodlands consisting of a few dozen tree’s or vast forests covering 1000’s of acres. There was always something, something special or magical even. Then you grow up of course and the world takes on a whole new perspective, then ‘magical’ often takes a back seat if it gets a seat at all. 

I did dally with the idea a little when my daughter reached an age where rugged outdoor play was on the agenda but never to the point of pursuing it to make it real, too much else happening in life, just too busy. But then my Mother passed away, her last dying wish was that I ‘feed the wild birds and  look after wild flowers and trees’. It’s at these points in life you are forced to stop and take stock, and here was a sign, surely?  Read more...

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