Knox Wood – first impressions

Knox Wood - first impressions

We purchased Knox Wood in August 2023, part of Boltonmuir Wood, an old woodland site on fairly boggy ground in East Lothian. Our five acres are split 50% almost pure birch (Silver and Downy) regenerating [about 20 years old] and 50% mature Scots Pine that is well thinned over mixed natural regeneration.  All of the site has previously been used for commercial forestry so there is plenty of natural regeneration from Sitka Spruce, Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Silver Fir and Larch. Some oak, rowan, hawthorn and beech regeneration is also present. Roe deer use the site but are not having much impact on the trees, just ticks to be aware of.   Plenty of mosses, ferns and bracken that indicate acidic soil conditions.

Our plan is to improve the site for biodiversity and use some birch for green wood working.  So far we have been taking out non-native conifer regen, leaving a few that are suitable for bird nesting and to provide a bit of evergreen shelter. A few Rhododendrons to eliminate as well, easy enough using the lever and mulch technique. We will create some standing deadwood and add to the fairly good level of deadwood from previous birch thinning that is now well rotten.  We will add a few native species, such as Aspen and maybe more Willows for weaving.   Also hoping to grow some edible fungi on site, there are wild mushrooms and I am sure plenty of people already roam around there collecting them. 

As Alien Spoons, I teach green wood working so will thin out the birch for spoon carving, shrink pots, bowls and other treen.  Maybe make some besoms and other products with it as well. 


Birch regenerating


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