Meanwhile, Henry has been working with sports development officer Lucy to design and build a new natural play area for children - again, stay tuned for updates!
Our Wednesday hedgelaying crew have been busy on a new hedge at Duncote Farm having finished their first one, braving the wind and rain to rescue the hedge and renew it with new growth. There are some large gaps in this one and some thin areas, so we will lay it as best we can and replant to thicken the vegetation. This is part of a long-term plan for the hedges of the Estate, bringing them back into good condition with regular cutting and laying.
Meanwhile, another group has been working with me to restore an area of hazel coppice. As you can see in the pictures, it's been a long time since these stools were last coppiced - we counted 25-35 growth rings in the larger stems. We cut the hazel down, angling the stumps outwards, to encourage new shoots that can be coppiced again in 7-10 years time for stakes, binders and material for green woodworking. We managed to cut many stakes and binders out of the old stools as they have put out new shoots, and the larger material will be used for firewood, charcoal and probably a chair leg or two once the pole lathes are set up! The stumps are then covered with brash to give them a bit of protection from rabbits and deer that would nibble off the new shoots as soon as they appear.