Read about the life and work of the Attingham Wardens

Attingham Park is a National Trust property comprising of an 18th Century mansion set in a Repton landscape; the Park and wider Estate includes a deer park, walled garden, several miles of the rivers Severn and Tern, extensive farmland and woodlands.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Indian Summer

Well, what a strange week! Just as the trees are turning into their autumn colours and we are crunching along through the fallen leaves, the sun decides to make one last go of summer and brings on a week of sweltering heat. It's been beautiful but oh-so-dry, and I must admit that working all day in full chainsaw PPE has not been so fun in these temperatures! I'm hoping we will be well into cooler times for the Over the Edge run later this month... check out Chris' blog for Wenlock Edge to find out more, and come along to cheer me and Attingham volunteer Geoff on as we struggle over the 18 mile course.

Our new (to us at least) kiln
 This last week has seen a variety of jobs done. A small team of volunteers accompanied me to Brockhampton, a Trust estate in Herefordshire, to collect a charcoal kiln so that we can start producing our own charcoal again. It may be a few weeks before we have time to get everything set up (and I need to re-read my charcoal book and brush up on technique!) but hopefully we will see a burn or two before the end of the year. Brockhampton is a beautiful place, I would thoroughly recommend a trip and the warden there, Nick, is a lovely chap who trained with me on Careership.

Yesterday I went to our small cricket-bat willow plantation to check on the progress of the young trees. The willow is used by one of the last companies in England to make cricket bats, and last year the crop was felled and replanted with around 100 saplings. Our job was to trim off any side shoots to prevent knots in the wood and ensure that the wood will be of good quality. It will be another 20-30 years before this lot are ready for felling so I will keep watch on them and hope to see them ready in time for my retirement!

Finally, a success story - over the last few years I have watched the swans that nest down by the deer park bridge try to raise their young, only for them to go missing (probably washed away down the weir). But this year, the whole family has made it and the cygnets are nearly as big as their parents:

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