Looking ahead to the workshop for the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, I thought it a good idea to make a short reconnaissance visit to the Hickling Reserve, just to see what materials are available. Lots to choose from, including some good birch logs. Now birch bark is well known for its adaptability and inherent beauty, but it can be quite difficult to remove. Timing is key to success, usually a freshly felled tree in early spring will retain the bark’s supple leathery nature. However, even rotting birch timber can yield some useful sheet material.
For removal, I have been using a Swedish chisel knife; a very useful tool for all sorts of woodland whittling jobs and really good at chiselling straight cuts in birch bark.