November’s log

Wimpole hall in late autumn

Wimpole Hall in late autumn

Track building

Track building

Having laid down the 75mm clean limestone the forestry team set about putting on the top layer of Type 1 limestone to make a smoother surface. This then required raking to take out the lumps and bumps. Unfortunately John’s steamroller could not get up the steep hill to really pack the stone down, we will just have to use the roller that goes behind the tractor.

Chipping up

Chipping up

We also had to chip up all the elm scrub that had been removed before laying down the stone as it had encroached onto the track. There was quite a bit of it but we did cut out about a hundred hedge laying stakes which will come in handy in December when we start the hedge laying.

Bonfire night

Bonfire night

Of course it was November so the burning trailer had to be filled up with some of the lop  & top and brash. Made for a pretty display on a cold and windy November the 5th night at Wimpole.

Log fired space heater

Log fired space heater

Maintainance

Maintainance

With the winter looming it was time to install the wood fired space heater- this was our way of keeping warm and drying out the work clothes in a sustainable manner; it even provides us with hot water to wash with as we have a very big kettle that sits on the top. Incidentally this was made in Poland. A big thumbs up especially when we work in the shed on the very wet days.

Some extra help

Some extra help

So, with a warm fire at hand, we can maintain our equipment and machinery in comfort (well relatively, but considering how cold we used to get it’s a vast improvement).

One job that had to be done was to replace the three-point linkage arms on the MF390 tractor. We could no longer adjust the arms so a little heat was applied… it worked on one arm but the other remained stubbornly seized so off to Andy Klose Engineering to get something just a tad bigger!!!!!!!!!! Boy, even with acetylene and the biggest wrench I have seen we struggled to free the threaded pin from the housing. Turned out that the whole unit was pretty much useless in the end so we had to obtain some new parts to get the job done.

What on earth is Peter up to?

What on earth is Peter up to?

Planting acorns

Planting acorns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A job that I have aways wanted to do is grow our own oak tree saplings from the veteran oak trees on the estate. We purchased some new potting crates that are used for cell grown trees and stole some of the gardeners’ mulch when they weren’t looking. Got the job done and put the crates on the floor only to discover the blasted rats and pheasants had discovered breakfast, lunch and supper! Hmmmmm… now the crates and their precious cargo are out of reach and covered with chicken wire mesh.

The woodyard clean up

The Woodyard clean up

There are always the ‘just-a-jobs’ to do too. Cobbs, a local civil engineering company, were landscaping around the Woodyard but all the old vintage farming machinery had to be removed along with a large amount of natural stones (some weighing more than 300kg). We saved this stone for future stone carving as it’s actually quite expensive to buy. It was nice to help out the contractors as it does make the job much easier for all concerned.

Autumn is here

Autumn is here

November turned out to be a fairly dry month with some beautiful days; the little gallery below shows a few of the best moments.

cleaning the scrub

Cleaning up the scrub

Finally it was time to start cleaning up the meadow behind Cobbs Wood Farm- there was an awful lot of scrub to remove so that we could eventually start to lay the hedge on the meadow boundary. Also on the agenda will be the removal of the scrap metal and other farming items.

Chipping

Chipping

Hedge laying

Hedge laying

With the end of November fast approaching we finally managed to fell and chip all the plum scrub plus make another hundred or so hedge laying stakes  (just as well as this section of hedge would require about 250 stakes). So… in December the hedge laying will start in earnest.

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves

It seems to have been a late autumn with many of the leaves hanging on for dear life but the colours were superb. Below is a little gallery of autumn leaves.

Long netting

Long netting

Caught

Caught

There were some good nights for long netting, but unfortunately, whenever we went out it seemed to go all foggy and frosty which usually means a poor catch…however we did clear out some rabbits from Rectory Farm (and just as well as the crops had just started to grow).

Autumn fungi

Autumn fungi

This autumn may have been superb for colourful leaves but as far as the fungi were concerned the dry weather prevented many of the grassland fungi from surfacing. However the fungi on the deadwood and forest litter made up for the paucity in the meadows.

Fire wood

Fire wood

Spoons

Spoons

Other work included carting more firewood to the roadside so that it could be sold to the local firewood merchant (all the firewood has to be brought to the roadside because the 40 ton skeleton lorry cannot go off-road). Also, in my spare time in the evening, I have been perfecting the spoon!!!!! The nicest wood to use and easiest to carve was the black walnut, even little scraps of wood can be turned into a spoon.

End of a hard days work

End of a hard day’s work

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Sadeik

You may ask why "Sadeik" well it means friend in arabic. Worked in Jordan a lot doing tree surgery you see. I have worked in forestry since I left school with a two years in Telecom. Went back to forestry and tree surgery as it may not have paid as much but was far more interesting and dangerous. Spent a lot of years mountaineering, caving and canoeing too. At 29 I went to Bangor University to study Forestry and soil science then did an MSc in Water engineering all very interesting. By a quirk of fate in 1995 ended up helping sort out the woodland and park at Wimpole, funny thing was then I only intended to stay six months or so, but 18 years later I'm still here learning all the time. That's the best bit, if I wasn't able to learn something new every year I would not have stayed and as you get older you realise that the grass is not so green in the next field after all. In fact my patch is getting greener while much of the rest is getting browner.
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