This week we the fencing has been going up around the coppice we cut at Swan Barn Farm last winter. The regrowth on the coppice stool’s is starting to grow and we need to protect it from the local deer population.
The new growth is really tender and suculant and is the favourite food of the roe deer that live in the woods. Deer populations are very much on the increase at the moment, and this can have quite a drastic effect on the woods. We are also starting to get new species of deer moving into the area, some of them, such as the muntjac are non native and escaped from private collections to become established in the wild.
The fencing is only temporary, as soon as the coppice has grown high enough so the deer can’t reach we take it down again. In practice this usually means we take down a block each time we put one up.
This fence was being taken down as the coppice was high enough, we will reuse the materials on the block we have cut this year.
Here the new line of posts is going in, with willow being as helpfull as ever! The posts are made out of sweet chestnut, which came from Ridden Corner Copse on Black Down.
Most of the woodland wild flowers have finished by now for the year, but there were still some really nice patches of foxgloves in the glades created by the work we do here.
They are a realy important nectar source, you can just make out a bumble bee’s bottom as it disappears into the second lowest flower. The coppice management we carry out provides the conditions of alternating light and shade which so many of our woodland wild flowers need in order to thrive.
Meanwhile the hedgerows through the farm are looking full of life, this was the one that was layed last winter.
Its starting to fill out nicely. In the other hedges through Swan Barn the sloes are starting to develop on the blackthorn (its looking good for sloe gin in the autumn!) and the wild roses are looking fantastic.
Meanwhile, on the Speckled Wood building scaffolding has been going up, it makes it look a little less gracefull, but means the next phase of work is starting. The wall plates and roof rafters will be going on soon, which means it wont be long until the first of those shingles starts to go on the roof.
I have been away for a few days camping on Exmoor, which is why I’ve been a bit quiet this week. It was really nice to get away for a few days, such a beautifull place and with good company too. It felt a bit like getting chance to breath after the pace of everything here recently. Glad to be back as well though, can’t wait to get back over to the build and see how things have moved on.