Archive for Woodcutting

Wood scavenging

Neil has got himself a wood scavenging license from the Forestry Commission.  This allows him to take wood that has fallen, but not to cut down wood and not to use his chain saw, but only to use hand tools.  The area covered is near here on the Neroche estate.

So on Monday he went off to Staple Park and loaded the car up with logs, some small, some larger.


He unloaded this in front of our stables ready to be sawn into fire ready pieces.


This wood will then have to dry out and will be ready for next Winter, to keep us nice and toasty warm.

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Wood, wood and more wood

Last Monday Neil volunteered to help out at Neroche Forest moving some wood that had previously been felled.  Glad it wasn’t this Monday as it has done nothing but rain today, but last Monday was better weather so not too bad for working in.  Neil was one of about 20 volunteers who moved masses of logs up hill to where they could be trucked away.  At the end of the day, all the volunteers were able to fill their cars with some of the wood, so Neil brought home a boot full  (For US readers a trunk full).

Neil with a log

The wood was stacked in our garage and left to dry out.  Neil will then have to use his chainsaw to cut it up into pieces small enough to go into the woodburners.  But this was a great haul and a great reward for his work, as wood is a form of currency around here, where most people have woodburners, and to buy in wood to burn is expensive.

Neil’s car full of wood

If this rain continues and it gets any colder we shall have to think about lighting a fire!!

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Down with the Sycamore tree

When we moved here we inherited a sycamore tree on the corner of the back garden between us and our next door neighbours.  Neither of us were very keen on this tree as it overshadows the vegetable patch and leaves lots of little seedlings all over the place every year.  So the decision was taken to cut it down.  It had 3 trunks and here is a picture of what it looked like before we began cut it down.

Sycamore tree

So Neil and our neighbour took down the first trunk, leading it to fall on our back lawn.

The first trunk down

Next they tied a strap around the 2nd trunk and Neil pulled whilst our neighbour put a strategic cut in one side, and then went round the other side to finish it off.

Then, one, two, three, down it comes as Neil quickly runs out of the way………..


This process was  repeated for the 3rd trunk until all we were left with was 3 tree stumps and lots of woods across our lawn.

The view with the tree down

The big job is to clear all the branches.  Neil has been chopping and I have been feeding small stuff through the chipper.  Wood that is big enough for the woodburner is being chopped and popped into the wood shed to dry out for next Winter.  The smaller stuff we are bagging up which will make kindling to start the fires.

Branches that need chopping up

Neil has been out there for 4 days now sawing away. It’s a long job and we want to get it finished to we can clear the lawn which needs cutting now.

Neil working away at the saw bench

So lots to do, keeping us both busy.  We need to get sorted out as we have B&B guests for 4 days coming up at the weekend so we want the place looking neat and tidy by then.

So I’d better get back to it!!

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clearing the bramble patch and having a bonfire

It’s turned quite cold, but still it’s not raining or snowing at the moment, so Neil has taken the opportunity to go down the woods and continue with clearing the bramble patch.  He made a big pile of brambles ready for burning.

Neil with a big pile of brambles

And yesterday he decided to light the bonfire and get rid of these brambles.  The wind was a bit all over the place so the smoke did blow around rather.

The bonfire gets underway

There was a dead elderflower tree in the patch that Neil is clearing so he had that down yesterday.  There are some quite big logs which when cut up, split and dried out will make great firewood.

Big log ready for cutting up

Unfortunately I have gone and got the first cold I have had in 2 years since we moved here, so I have not been outside, but stayed in the warm and am cooking up a nice beef casserole for dinner.  Good job we don’t have any B&B guests at the moment as I wouldn’t want to be sneezing in front of them!!
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Down in the woods

The wind having dropped and the weather being mild this weekend we have been working down in the woods.  On Saturday Neil went down with his chainsaw and cut down various branches and then sawed them into useable chunks for the woodburner.

Neil with his chainsaw

Today he started work on clearing the bramble patch.  This is a large area of brambles that is totally inaccessible due to the growth of the brambles.

Bramble patch in the woods

Neil worked away with his trusty Stihl Brushcutter all afternoon and cleared a patch but this will take several days as it is quite a large patch.  We will then need to gather up all the brambles to burn them and then sprinkle a weedkiller such as “Round up” over the area to kill off the undergrowth.  Eventually this area will be ready for planting out some new trees, called “Whips”, which is time will grown into mature trees to provide wood for us to burn in the future.  So this is all part of a 10 year plan.

Neil starting to clear the brambles

Meanwhile I have been foraging the woodland floor for twigs and small bits of wood that will act as kindling.  I managed to fill 5 bags, so that will keep us going for a while.

Five bags of kindling

It’s good to be able to get outside this early in January.  Last week the wind was howling and the rain horrendous, and this time last year, we still had very cold weather, so it’s a bonus working outside this weekend.

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Woodcutting for friends

Today we have been woodcutting for friends.  Our friends live in the next village Bishopswood, and have a thatched house, with no woodburning stove, so they have no use for all the wood from their trees.  They also don’t have a chainsaw, so they asked Neil if he would mind coming to their place with his chainsaw and chopping up some tree trunks. 

Neil tackles a tree stump

They  had already taken down some of the smaller stuff with a hand saw, but that is quite hard work when there is a lot to do.

So Neil went up there first and got going on the tree trunks still in the ground.  He also showed our friend how to safely use a chainsaw and he had a go too.

Our friend has a go at another stump

I followed on in my car so I had an empty boot (trunk) to bring back some wood in.  Us girls gathered up the chopped wood, and bagged it up.  There were quite a few bags of it.  It will be burning wood for next  year, not this, as it has to season first and dry out a bit, so we will have to stack it all up at home and let the air get to it.

Whilst at our friends I spotted our house in the distance, the other side of the valley.

Our house from our friends back garden


Our house is the white one behind the house in front.  Anyway it was a nice mild November day, with some watery sunshine today, so good for working outside.We helped our friends out and they gave us all the wood, so a good deal all round.

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