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My Wood

My Wood

by Matt Marples ~ 22 March, 2012 ~ 9 comments

Some of you may know me as I’m the Regional agent for East Anglia. I own my own wood and wanted to share with you my wood over the year. I’m often asked by owners on what commitment in terms of work a wood entails. This will depend on the woodland and your needs and aspirations. However, I thought it might be useful to give a regular update on my own woodland.

I’m blessed with the best wood in the world or that’s what I think. It’s my wood.   It’s called Snipes wood after one of my old dogs and it is 150 metres from my back door and surprisingly despite spending my working life in woodland - I love every moment I spend in it yet do very little work with it. First thing every morning I walk around the wood with “Stig “the dog and love seeing the sun rise as I head back for home.

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Aspects of The Storm of '87.

Aspects of The Storm of '87.

by Richard ~ 7 January, 2012 ~ 2 comments

On 16th October 1987, the Great Storm took away many mature trees from the landscape of southeast England, a great swathe of destruction was wreaked on our woodland and parkland trees.  Many trees and overlarge coppice still lie where they fell, the coppice more often than not growing up again but from a much larger base.  The mature trees have been gradually rotting. All the resources locked up in the wood being released and taken up by bacteria, fungi, invertebrates and so to higher organisms.  It was a major ecological disturbance,  that in some ways has been of considerable benefit to wildlife.

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Is land the "new gold" for investors?  What might this mean for woodland owners

Is land the "new gold" for investors? What might this mean for woodland owners

by Angus ~ 29 December, 2011 ~ 2 comments

The ongoing financial crisis was expected by many to push down the price of land but it seems that it has in fact pushed up land values.  What appears to have happened is threefold:

  • people are getting such a low return on their cash that they feel land is a more attractive option
  •  investors don't trust the banks and think of land as a "safe haven"
  • whilst many are suffering from the downturn there are many others with cash who are choosing to invest in land.

Land has been described as the "new gold" - a safe haven for wealth even if actual returns are low.  This also seems to explain the buoyant residential property market in central London. Read more...

Making more use of small diameter wood

Making more use of small diameter wood

by Angus ~ 1 September, 2011 ~ 4 comments

Making more use of small diameter wood

Tim Parry is passionate about putting small diameter timber to good use. He has worked in Gloucestershire woodlands for over 25 years after initially training as a tree surgeon. In 1987 he first saw the need for more active woodland management while clearing up windblown timber in Sussex, following the "Great Storm".  At that point he realised just how much wood goes to waste and he is constantly working out ways to make the most of all the timber produced by coppicing. Read more...

What does the Forestry Commission consultation really say?

What does the Forestry Commission consultation really say?

by Angus ~ 8 February, 2011 ~ 3 comments

Few people have actually read the 64-page consultation document on the future of the Forestry Commission's English estate. I am one of those who have, and when I finished reading it my eyes were popping out because it doesn't say what you'd expect.  Here is a short summary of the proposals.  You certainly wouldn't guess them from what most of the press have said.

When you read what DEFRA says it turns out that the sell-off of 100,000 acres has already been decided and the consultation document is not about that at all.  It is in fact principally about a lease-off and a give away. Read more...

Leaf fall ...... ?

Leaf fall …… ?

by Nick Lear ~ 13 January, 2011 ~ 4 comments

Knowlands Wood at Barcombe is a hornbeam coppice with a lot of oak, both coppice and standards. When we acquired the wood some thirty years ago, it was mostly dark and relatively lifeless, having remained largely untouched since 1945.  A retired forester volunteered to start coppicing and we started to sell logs locally.   Within a year, I saw my first White Admiral. The following July my brother, who wanted to see his first also, complained that it was the commonest species of butterfly in the wood. Read more...

Ancient woodland

Ancient woodland

by Chris ~ 24 November, 2010 ~ 4 comments

 

In the U.K. about 11.8% of the land is covered by forest, (Thomas and Packham, Ecology of Woodlands and Forests). The amount of ancient woodland, within this, is very low.  Ancient woodland is also fragmented and dispersed.

Ancient woodland is a term that is applied to areas where trees have been present in the landscape for many hundreds of years, not necessarily as great continuous tracts but as discrete plots or areas. Read more...

Managing your Woodland for Wildlife

Managing your Woodland for Wildlife

by Margaret ~ 16 September, 2010 ~ one comment

A new book on woodlands -

Managing your Woodland for Wildlife by David Blakesley and Peter Buckley

After 20 years of selling woodlands to people “for enjoyment and conservation” we realised that although the purchasers wanted to do their best for conservation, encouraging biodiversity, protecting endangered species, and just having more birds, bluebells and butterflies, they were sometimes unsure of how best to set about it.  Read more...

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