Well, you have to keep warm somehow.
Today we have been working in Witley Copse, one of the woods at Swan Barn Farm. Its a traditional hazel coppice with oak standards, a very sustainable and traditional form of woodland management. The trees in a coppice made up of underwood (which is cut on a regular cycle and regrows with many stems) and standards (the bigger mature trees which are thinned each time you cut the underwood) the two types of tree produce different materials which tend to have different uses. This has been happening for so long it has become engrained in our language, timber from standards and wood from coppiced trees.
The wood we produce in this coppice over this winter will have a variety of uses, the oak we produce when we thin the standards will be used to make floorboards and cladding for the building, some of the underwood will probably be used for the woven panels in the building, but it will also be used for charcoal making and firewood for the biomass boiler which will keep our volunteers warm, as well as for stakes and binders (which you use when hedgelaying to help form the hedge).
Helping cut hazel today was Catherine, she has joined us on a short term contract over the winter. This is her first week with us, a bit of a baptism of snow, hopefully it wont have put her off.
Up on Black Down this afternoon the views were fantastic again, the sky was just so blue.
The roads around here are pretty impassable at the moment with all the snow and ice, so it was unusually quiet on the main paths on the hill. Only the hardiest souls were out and about.