The Edge Effect

‘Where two ecosystems are linked by a transitional area and the number of species and the population density are greater than either of the adjacent communities’. In the last few weeks, It has become increasingly apparent that the transitional areas at the margins of the wood are, by far, the Read more…

Tawny Owlet

Just managed to catch this charming little owlet before it popped back into the nest box. She looks ready for branching, so will be soon scrabbling about in the trees close by. I’m not sure if there are any brothers and sisters, but anytime soon we’ll know for sure, as Read more…

Bracken Whipping

Bracken can dominate a new plantation, outcompeting young saplings and collapsing onto tree guards in autumn bringing them to the ground. There is plenty of evidence that crushing the bracken stems with a tractor-driven roller shuts down the bracken rhizome over time. This is backed up by the fact, that Read more…

Birch Bark

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 Read more…

Willow Bindings

Down by Foxes Beck, a tangle of willow scrub emerges from the waterlogged banks. The inner bark, or more precisely, ‘the cambium layer’, is a fine material for bindings. Either raw, or retted (boiled in a hot ash-liquor), it’s tough, and ‘strips-down’ a little more consistently than bramble. If you Read more…

Bramble Bindings

Thinking ahead to the ‘Wild Jewellery’ event I’m running for the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, I thought I’d see how last year’s bramble growth behaved for simple bindings. Quite tough to ‘thread’ (peeling off the vicious thorns) but it certainly was robust. It even withstood Nellie’s ‘Lab test’.