Small Woodland Owners' Group

July in the wood

Camp fires, shelters, wild food, making things, children and more....

Postby Darren » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:35 pm

Just the weight of the pallet does the job. I then turn around and go the other way to really mash them up.

Make sure you only tie it in the middle of the pallet because if you hit a stump etc it will turn around it rather than getting stuck.

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Postby Catweazle » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:51 pm

The problem with fencing the deer out is that they will go destroy trees or crops next door. If the numbers of deer are that high it's time to call in a deer stalker.

If anyone needs a contact let me know and I can put you in touch with a responsible, insured stalker in your area.

As a woodland owner you are legally allowed to shoot deer with a 12g shotgun using specific cartridges, size AAA shot, but I would only consider this as a last resort where an animal was trapped or injured and suffering. Much better to get an experienced stalker to do it humanely with a rifle.

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Postby Rich » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:07 pm

Thanks Stephen,

Angling the fence post sounds like a good idea, but as I've already put it up I think I'll try something less strenuous:-) Lion dung and human hair are reportedly good deterrants, unfortunately neither of which do I have in particularly large quantities!

I do have a load of brash which might help if I stack it up along the perimeter, still sounds strenuous though. Has anyone tried silver foil trays tied to the netting? They might just swing around sort of spookily...... straw clutchingly!

We are also thinking of the shooting option, but here on the edge of Ashdown Forest, I'm not sure anything but a highly organised cull by the ranger service would make any impact.


Richard Hare
SWOG website editor

[email protected]
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Postby Darren » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:33 pm

I was thinking of something simliar to the siver tin. Blank CD's spinning might put them off.

Phil Collins CD's will work better ;)

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Postby RichardKing » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:07 pm

Thinning Scotts Pine. Felled a tree about 15 inches in diameter, went over in the right direction, but the canopy got hung up. Tried everything to move it, trimming hinge, stump, cant hook etc, but to no avail. Went back to the Land Rover for lunch. 50 yards away I heard the occasional cracking of dead branches. The frequency gradualy increased, followed by a almighty crash. A few days later exactly the same thing happened. I guess chewing over the problem was the best solution.

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Postby adam » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:21 am

So far all I've managed in July is to fit some bat boxes. If I can get some spare time and reasonable weather I'll try and contunue the battle toopen up the footpath and tracks some more ... may even get to try my new pole saw.

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Postby docsquid » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:05 am

Well, July has been busy for us. We have held a camp and BBQ for our friends at the wood - had 28 visitors and overnight 18 were staying, including two hammock tents. We had a camp-fire, cooked damper, as well as BBQ-ing loads of different stuff, and drinking quite a lot of beverages.

We also had one of the most exciting open days in the history of the wood, although none of it was down to us. One of our visitors brought a young dog on a lead - we discourage dogs, and put signs everywhere that they must be kept on a short lead, and this dog was on a good lead with a chest harness. Except the dog slipped its lead from the owner's hand, and got into next-door's sheep. Fortunately the sheep were not harmed, but this led to a certain amount of commotion, and not surprisingly an angry neighbour.

Stephen went in to apologise to the neighbour and the owner of the dog had given details in case any of the sheep needed vet bills, or died of shock after the event. While he was there, three cows had got over from the far side of the canal (well, they fell in the canal and the fire brigade put them back on the wrong side). They got into the same neighbour's horse paddock causing one of the larger horses to panic. Stephen and the stable lad were trying to get it into the stable, but it slipped its rein and ran off down the road. I heard a horse trotting, and saw it had no rider, so tried to head it off and get it into the wood, where it could calm down in relative safety. It did slow down but more traffic meant that the horse was spooked again. Various people were running around trying to slow the traffic, and catch the horse, which finally stopped in a wheat field opposite (yet another annoyed farmer!).

Meanwhile the cows were still loose, although I didn't know this until I was taking a group round and the cow man asked if I'd seen any cows. I hadn't at that stage, but a bit further down, there were two cows in our ditch. We herded them to the corner of the field that we thought had a good fence and impenetrable hedge - WRONG! They got through the hedge and over the road to trample yet more of the poor farmer's wheat crop, and headed for the golf course.

The cows have remained at large for most of this week, although two were found on Wednesday night, one at a local nature reserve in Tamworth and the other at the marina on the canal. The third (a big, mean one) is still missing. It was in our woods on Tuesday night, but there has been no sign of it since, and in particular no new hoof prints by our ponds, where it was drinking.

Now I use the woods for fitness classes, and because it is rather a mean beast, I have to check the woods thoroughly before using it for each class. It takes about 30 minutes to walk round and check thoroughly, so I've had to put in a lot of extra work this week. We'll be glad when it gets home.

Then, of course, as mentioned in a different thread, we have had an offer accepted on adjacent 9.3 acres of field to add to our woodland.

You really couldn't make it up. It has been like the keystone cops at times, with land rovers and people running round all over the place!

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Postby Darren » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:52 pm

I think I'll stick to being a tree shepherd.

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Postby docsquid » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:09 pm

Well, we think the cow has been located and is now no longer near our woods - the stable lad works at the farm where I buy my chicken bedding and told me they'd found it. The local agricultural grapevine is working quite well.

I hope we have a really very quiet weekend in the woods this week!

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Postby tracy » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:51 am

Yeah, I prefer trees, they move around less!

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