Sat 17th Oct

Took my sweet chestnut seedlings from collected and self grown seed from last year. This is a mix from colony wood itself, Broxbourne woods and a market stall in Annecy. About 16 in all and planted in top corner. Some still pretty small so left them in pots.


Looked around for nuts for next year but nothing left from the squirrels other than very small or unripe ones.

Started clearing the area from the shelter that collapsed and sorting out the trunks to use in the next attempt.

Also now bringing firewood back to burn at home BUT really need to be preparing and stacking logs for next season.

Tues 26th May

First visit since lockdown. Lots of deer damage including the large transplanted stump wiped out again…but showing regrowth so doubled up the chicken wire to try protect.

Planted penultimate Field Maple which had been in a pot for last few years, replaced one of the Black walnuts in centre circle, which had not survived. in fact Black walnuts not looking too great, only one looking like it will survive.

A dugup Sweet chestnut that I’d potted last year looking very healthy so planted. Other sweet chestnuts looking OK and not much damage considering fresh shoots, perhaps deer don’t like the more open space.

Mowed the centre and verges on track, mostly bracken and nettles …2 full batteries used up to do that and filled half of a bag with the cuttings which should make some good ericaceous compost…

Brought back 2 potted hawthorns for planting in garden against fence to create a bit of a hedge at home.


Tues 18th June 2019


Keith over from Oz, so he came to help with the next shelter construction. Found very nice straight pine to use as a ridge pole. Think not enough slope however for the tarpaulin to not start pooling.

Also, good news on the Ash stump roughly transplanted from back garden last Autumn and has now sent out some new growth so looks like it survived. Only need the deer to stay away now and then the dieback also.


Thursday 21st March

Spring equinox, afternoon visit in the van, taking 3 remaining saplings in pots from home, plus 10 more bags of digging spoil from the (ex) patio.

Planted a Whitebeam between car park and stream, also next track half way along, with a field maple too, however didn’t look took healthy when it came out of pot so maybe it wont survive. Not great photos…just twigs really with a bit of brash to try keep the animals at bay.

Ground was very waterlogged in places, with most ditches having standing water in them.

Up in the Sweet Chestnut corner plenty evidence of animal damage to 4 or 5 of the smaller plants. Looks like rabbits eating through the orange netting — because damage is at ground level … odd as they could just walk round to get in, if they went a bit further. Its clear the best protection is the chicken wire style all way round.

Sunday 25th Nov

Took van full of subsoil from patio. Dug some in around a Ash and a small established Oak. Also planted few more Lime trees with large amount dug in. Will see if they do better.

Met a deer bouncing around. Didn’t seem too scared either…backed off when approached but stopped and stared back. No doubt looking for young saplings to lunch on.

Sat 14th Jul

Hot and dry … but amazingly the field maple is surviving. Cleared mpre space arpind them, maybe that will become extension to parking and lpading area. And just in case ot ever rains again setup both waterbuts and put taps on them. Made some small little stands for each with chestnut legs.

Sunday 25th Mar

Working on latest extension to new shed complex. This roofed with couple doors out of skip and coverered with roof felt. Stacked some hornbeam from SW corner including some of the stuff from last year which did not dry well and is noticeably poorer quality.

Moving stuff from temp cover into this new shed proper… although its only closed on 3 sides still should be more weatherproof although not sure about rodent proof.

Sunday Jan 28th

Started rebuilding one of my tarp shelters; this time using ex-Steve’s climbing frame, which hopefully will last a bit longer. Also using chestnut for the long lengths and cross-pieces, so will be interesting to see if the chestnut corrodes the metal where they contact.20180128_162759.jpg

Saturday 13th Jan

Planted out last remaining Black Poplar, still in a pot at home. Ground very waterlogged, so hopefully it can still get a hold. This one is “BP35 Lower Horsebridge M”. Built up a very large brash surround to try keep the deer away.


Also working up by the chestnut and felling a few trunks … the 2 stools where I had left one trunk standing. Not super straight but attempt to split went quite well…


And planted final home grown chestnut from 2 yrs ago (so I think it is now a 3yr). Old chain-link fence from woodberry avenue to protect it:





Sun 5th Nov

Seems all constructions from few years back are starting to end-of-life. The main shelter covering roof increasingly feels unsafe and table has collapsed under weight of stuff I had on it.

Continuing to bring back logs from last years stack – finding a good technique is to use the ballast bags (of which I have 100s) and can get about 10 split logs in each and then 4×3 bags in one builders bag in the van, or 4×4 bags to cover just the wooden floor protector I made, or 4×5 bags if I aim to fill entire floor. And that’s about 0.5 m3, so maybe £50 worth of wood at most. BUT the bags make it quite each to move around and dont seem to be splitting.

Last years double stack was 20 bags for the smaller pile, and today 16 bags for the top half of the larger.

Experimenting with a prototype improved roof for a wood stack: a pallet with gutter fixed all the way round and then felted over. TBD if improves protection by stopping dripping but very heavy, too heavy to move or handle by ones-self:

Also felled a couple more larger (8″ diameter) Hornbeams and logged them (but not split yet). Staked in top corner.

The felling not too successful! Both trees I roped and used strap-winch to pull in the required direction.  And cut nice hinges but seems to just fall where they wanted anyway. As shown in this shot, rope and hinge on stump show prefered direction, actual tree fell at 90 to that