Sunny April has led to showery May and some more glorious weather with sunshine that lights the countryside into a glimmering emerald.
A steady week finishing off jobs, the remaining stock wire was taken down and the stubborn posts and gates and their posts were removed with the help of the timber crane, boy does this piece of kit help us out.
Now the interesting thing about the posts we removed was that the more modern ones less than ten years old had started to rot all the way through but the original straining posts made from larch or sits pine were still holding their own. The heartwood of both these species are very durable and have lasted thirty years and may well have lasted another ten or so years. Nowadays all posts are made from spruce especially Sika spruce, high yielding but basically rubbish and unless treated with the old arsenic compounds they don’t last more than ten years at tops. Quantity of quality, for my money I would always want good soft woods like pine, larch, Douglas fir or Thuja, the latter is very durable, Yew is also exceedingly durable but that would be sacrilege to use that wood for fencing. For the hardwoods it’s got to be oak or sweet chestnut but Robinia would be excellent too.
Got a few more rats this week at Cobbs wood farm, the Jagdterriers are keeping on top of these little pesky nibbling gnawers.
Paul and myself went back to the south avenue to remove a few oak trees that had fallen on the neighbours farmland. Blast, couldn’t get into the woods for the concrete dam stuff. This concrete came from the second world war air field that was situated in the south avenue. The Americans use to store all the bombs under the elm trees and there were concrete pads for the flying fortress’ to stand on. Menphis Belle flew from here. Meanwhile the others were up at the folly tidying up the left over wood that had not been carted away and removing some more wooden tree guards.
Managed to load the oak timber including the roots as the gardeners were looking for more oak stumps for the garden stumpery. Some of the pieces weighed more that 2.5 ton.
With a bit of spare time we took the opportunity to repair three marquees, managed to fix two of the frames and will now need to purchase the top fabric. These marquees are worth at least £1500 each so it’s well worth spending some time renovating them.
Later in the week the forestry team started to knock in the metal stakes for the metal tree guards
Almost twenty years ago I collected some cowslip and wild red clover seed from around the estate and spread it thinly near the folly. For many years only a few plants succeed to grow but these seeded and produced more plants, this carried on and now we have a field so full of cowslips that give a lovely spring display. One thing I have noticed with flowering cowslips is that the rabbits love nibbling the flower head off, darn rabbits.
We also sowed the grass and flower seed around the folly, that is after it was harrowed. As the seed bed was rather lumpy we then rolled the ground so that the seed had good contact with the soil.