Having had the disease confirmed in one of my woods, it’s been a busy time: implementing bio-security/hygiene measures, meeting with contractors and timber buyers, marking out precisely the extent of the areas to be felled and perhaps most importantly, keeping woodland owners informed about what is happening.
Luckily for me I have been very well supported by my local Forestry Commission Woodland Officer. Without his knowledge and sympathetic approach, I would be floundering.
My colleague Stuart has been helping to host a group of Hungarian conservation workers who are here for 15 weeks on some sort of exchange programme. We have been trying to involve them in some typically English activities. Hedge-laying proved to be one of Stu’s more inspired ideas and, as an added bonus, they also got to experience some of the vagaries of the local climate; we arrived at the site in fog, got drenched in a late morning downpour and left in glorious autumn sunshine.
We have also introduced them to the delights of fish & chips and pasties – both of which taste so much better when eaten outdoors, even if they did get a little soggy.
One of the visitors is a park ranger at home inHungary. It was fascinating to hear about a current project to reintroduce bison to graze in woodland. He has previously been involved in a WWF funded scheme to reintroduce beaver – an idea which excites extreme passions round these parts.