It sounds a bit unpleasant I suppose, but don’t worry, it is nothing nasty.

We are building our Orchard House from roundwood Sweet Chestnut poles. They came straight from our coppice to Swan Barn Farm, completely sustainable and with all the character of the woods in which they grew.

They do need a little bit of preparation before we make a building out of them though. We need to peel the bark off them. This inhibits rot, helpng the wood to last longer, it also makes them look lovely.

Anyone who has worked in a coppice knows just what is like peeling bark from roundwood poles, hard work, and not great for your back either. Our building poles are pretty big, and none of us fancied having to bend over all day to work them on the ground… A minimum of head scratching and repositioning of logs later and we were making a peeling bed.

Making the peeling bed

We arranged four likely looking logs into shape, drilled and pinned them together and cut some handy notches to stop the logs from rolling around. A bit rustic, but it certainly does the job.

Peeling chestnut 1

When the chestnut is fresh it peels like a banana, these poles are a little bit older so take a fair bit of effort to work. They are looking really nice though. Really looking forward to starting to join some of together into frames.

Chestnut peeling 2