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’.

A Pair of Ash Gates

A Pair of Ash Gates These new forest gates were made from the ash tree I felled for the new plantation. A lightweight construction that uses the traditional (and amazingly effective) draw-pegged joint, combined with a less traditional, steel-rope bracing. The stainless-steel rope is tensioned with a bottle screw – Read more…

Stickering

Until I sort out a mini saw-mill of my own, I’ve been getting some hardwoods planked up at a local wood mill. These planks are from a fine ash tree that we felled for the new plantation. It’s been down for nearly two years now, so won’t need too long Read more…