Episode three is up!

Episode three is up on YouTube

Show notes….

Knitting:

Finished the Daydreamer and the Deco mat, owl puff and owl hat…. started the socks…. Nearly a HO!

Sewing:

Curtains curtains and more curtains

PJS done, baby’s tshirt done

Cutting out….

Acquisitions: only the curtain poles!!

Shop update: vintage snug hat

Farm update: hedging, fencing, diggers, tractors, pit of doom, tree planting, chain sawing….

Back through the woods… The woodland part three

Once we had managed to make it down to the stream we had to climb all the way back up!!! However we found that the old coppice paths still were visible through the woodland and they, other than the occasional blockage allowed for us to clamber back up somewhat more easily!!! Well definitely more easily than I had slid down the slope!! So we have discovered another to do job for our list and that is reinstate all the old coppice paths, which will mean chainsawing a few fallen trees, reinstating some areas of eroded path, by hammering in poles to hold back the earth etc!!! 

On our way back we found balls of moss hanging in the trees…..



Some interesting lichens…



Bog plants towards the base of the slopes….



A lot of fallen branches, moss and some bluebell shots, which is good as the sheep in the big field have now moved out for a while so they won’t be munching away at them!!! Like last year!!



Some strange hairy mosses….

And areas where the dead could come out and allow for some natural regeneration!







Then we discovered the scarlet elf cups!!!! I have never seen these before and had only been introduced to them a week previous when a friend of mine had photographed them and put them on twitter!! But yes here they are in the flesh!!



Then we discovered or rediscovered the badger sett, which looks like it’s got residents in comparison to the last time!! Plus we have some scrape marks in the field!!



More elf cups and some general stills of the woodland ….







Ooo looks a fire pit on the other side of the river bank!!!! Slightly jealous feeling now!!! We have to get the paths to  the stream reinstated!!!



Then we found a bottle and bucket dump!!!! Lots of old bottles to be cleared up!!  This adds to the old cooker and some old metal work we found the first time we walked  through the woods last year!! 





So….. LOTS  of woodland work to be done!!!

But we should see some good results…. Reinstating the old paths, restarting the old coppice cycle, adding more woodland on the steeper field slopes, creating more wildlife habitats with piles of dead wood, nesting boxes for owls, bats and other birdlife, clearing up the rubbish left a generation ago, building a forest school….. And that’s only on the woodland segment we own behind the fields, we have yet to start on the woodland behind the second rough pasture and down to the mill at the bottom of the hill!!! We have probably only covered half of our nine acres of woodland thus far!!! Though some of the other parts get a bit steep, removing wood for our burners may only happen if we learn to abseil!!! And abseil whilst holding onto whole trees!!

The woodland part one!

James and I decided that the other weekend was a good time to start surveying the woodland.  So we togged up and off we went with paper, books and camera in hand!!! 





We went into the woodland from the furthest corner of big field….

And we worked our way down through the woodland a way noting hazel, and oak trees and an occasional ash.  We need to sort out our boundary line in the woodland as the old banked hedged section has fallen into disrepair and there is evidence that sheep have been going back and forth between us and our neighbour.  

We have some strangely knarled trees…





The second one looks like there is an old face in the nook!

And we have a lot of holes in the bank!!





Bunnies?

We have a glade area almost here which might service brilliantly as a forest school area for the the fire circle etc!!





There were some lovely fungi and some celandines and other ground flora starting to poke through too.





We mapped out this section of woodland carefully and then decided to slither and slide our way down to the stream which is our bottom boundary.

Tree felling

Thursday and Friday over half term James and his Dad felled the three leylandii!!! Hurrah bye bye vile giants and hello view!!!!!

Three…..

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Two….

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One…..

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Gone…..

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Hurrah!!!!
Hello view from the lounge window now!!!!!

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And a few photos of the tree feller and his site foreman!!!

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Meanwhile back at home!

My wonderful friend went to the RHS show in Cardiff recently and she bought me some basketry willow to start to grow for the farm!!! As the banks of the streams we want to plant it down are not at all ready for the willow I have planted them in pots in the garden here at home!!

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I have also got some trees growing in pots in the garden ready to be moved down in the Autumn to repopulate hedgerow gaps. I have a elder, a blackthorn, a crabapple and a cherry.

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No rest for the wicked here!! James’ parents and my mother came back down to us on the Wonderwool weekend!! Mum came for Wonderwool and Dad filled the car with tools for us!! Hedge trimmer, etc etc and James’ parents brought a chainsaw, and some furnishings for the hovel among other things not sure how much we can fit into the car with ourselves and dogs for the May Bank holiday weekend!! But hey we have POWER tools for the clearing of brambles and trees!!!! Yay!!!

Day 4 and 5 in the Little Tin Hut!

The next two days I was alone at the smallholding with just Sookie for company. Sookie used this as an excuse to wedge herself into my armpit every time I sat down or to go absolutely bat shit crazy every time anyone approached the farm or if there was a noise!!!

We came to terms with our empty calf less barn!!

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Though I had to stop Sookie on a couple of occasions from trying to get in there and stop her from eating cow poo!!

We had three window companies out for quotes, a plumbing/electrician firm and I met the guy who is tackling the knotweed down in the woodland off the road!! I also rang a few other companies for quotes on damp proofing, bore holes, septic tanks etc etc etc!!!

Busy times

I also tried to contact the Rural Payments Wales people to register etc etc so we can start trying to get into the Glastir Programme and start off getting some payments in to help us manage the land…. But I realised quickly into the call that I had left the holding number back with the other paperwork at home!!! Doh!!!! So that’s a job for another day, probably May half term!!!

The only significant amusement during my time alone, other than quotes, was the arrival of new bedding for the remaining barn load of calves!! Our tenant fired up his bob cat in the barn and the whole tin hut shook wildly!!! I was just it ting down for dinner and managed to hurl a tomato in my surprise across the tin hut!!! Te he!!!

I did also manage to get out amidst the drizzle and continue clearing along the back slurry pit banking. I cut the Rowan branches that over hung the pit and hacked back about three metres of brambles using gloves secateurs
and a pitch fork!! And I have started a new bonfire pile!! When James and he parentals left, I was under strict instructions not to relight the fire or go into the woodland alone.

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I also managed to start clearing some brambles by the stream pipe in the rough pasture!! So a productive few days even though I was alone with the pup!!