Having been awarded Forestry Commission approval for the Woodland Management Plan we’re now beginning to put the drawings into practice.
The Agents who had developed and submitted the Management Plan to the Forestry Commission visited the wood to implement Phase 1 of the track/working area within the wood. It was interesting to see how technology has affected the job of woodland management in 2013. No tape measures for this job, just long strides!
Having stepped out the route of the track into the wood, the next job was to mark the ground for the Contractors to follow. So, with spray can in hand the agent, Rob, proceeded to spray the ground with fluorescent orange paint. Hopefully the weather wouldn’t be too windy between then and the time the track contractors arrived, because the spray was on the leaves that covered the ground!
The next job was to consult the plan and decide which trees were going to need to be felled, in addition to the ones already removed, to make way for the wood processing area and track leading onto the main woodland ride. There seemed to be a lot of pointing and nodding/shaking of heads at this point!
Once the Agent was satisfied that we understood the works necessary, prior to the Contractor’s arrival, the real work of the day got underway.
First off was the felling of two Ash trees, one of which turned out to be much older than we had previously estimated. Gerald counted 135 growth rings.
In the mean-time Steven set about felling the trees the Lockhart-Garratt Agent had indicated needed to be removed.
Watching the progress of the chainsaw at work made me consider the days before such tools existed. What was taking one man just a few minutes to achieve must have taken two men many, many more. The job of clearing a space for a woodland track would have taken days by old manual methods.
Once the tree was on the floor the work really started. First of all the side branches had to be cut from the main trunk. Next the spindly bits growing from the trunk and branches has to be sliced off. Finally the branches and main trunk had to bet cut into lengths and stacked.
My job was to drag the remaining trees bits and pieces, the brash, onto an area beyond the working area. The idea is to use the brash to deter deer coming into the wood looking for tender shoots, especially on young trees.
One of the most interesting things I found during the day were seeds from a Spindle tree. Encased in bright pink, the orange seeds could already be seen on the ground below the tree. We were sorry to have to cut down one Spindle tree completely, but we managed to cut down one half of another. We hope that will suffice for the roadway contractors.