|Looking up hill at the start of the job.|
Well in advance of commencing felling, the trees that are to be removed such as the ones with the worst form, least vigour, diseased or damaged by squirrels are marked. An application is then made to the Forestry Commission to carry out the planned work, once this is agreed in the form of a licence being granted we can begin.
By thinning the trees more sunlight can reach the woodland floor, this encourages the growth of wild flowers such as primroses and also allows tree seeds to germinate and become established. These will be the future trees of Wenlock Edge, so whilst it may seem bad that so many trees are being cut down it is actually beneficial to the woodland in the long term.
The trees are felled in such a way that they are in rows, pointing down the hill. This makes the task of extracting the timber with a tractor mounted winch much easier. Once winched down the hill the wood is processed into the required lengths depending on the tree species. Hardwood goes mainly for firewood whilst softwood often becomes fence posts of different sizes. Lengths are then stacked accordingly by hand ready for selling on.
|Alistair tackling a 40 year old Spruce!|