This was meant to be Simon’s first blog, as he was planning to attend a Woodland Craft and Beanpole Day in North Hill, near Launceston in Cornwall. But a heavy cold intervened, so the event was missed, but we will give it a plug anyway.
Did you know that last week was National Beanpole Week? To be honest, neither did I, but the cause is good: encouraging the use of coppice crafts, notably hazel beanpoles, rather than the now more common imported bamboo canes. Hazel poles got a brief spell in the limelight when Rob Penn was selling them on television last year, as part of Tales from the Wild Wood. We don’t sell them, but do cut a few from Treragin Wood, for our own use. Some of the exhibitors at the North Hill event included:
- Tom Kemp (coppice crafts)
- Alan Thomas (woodturner)
- West Country Woodland Gardens
- Basketmakers Southwest
- Stara Community Woodland
Coppice produce, sourced locally, do wonders for active conservation management of woods. If pea sticks and beanpoles sound a bit like hard work, and your garden is more of a chill out zone, then perhaps you should be looking for some British hardwood charcoal? Many wildlife trusts now sell it to help towards woodland management costs and there are commercial suppliers as well, for example Dorset Charcoal Company. Hardwood charcoal lights more easily, burns hotter, and is ideal for a quick barbecue.
Setting up at last year’s event. .
Meanwhile I have spent a couple of days at Higher Treworgey Wood. The heavy winter rains had led to run-off from adjacent fields coming through the wood and down a public footpath. Cue erosion and deposits of silt near the main entrance. Our solution was to dig a new ditch along the top of the wood, to intercept any future run-off, and divert it into the stream along the northern boundary of the wood. While there we extended the track alongside the new ditch, giving better access for future management. So Higher Treworgey is now back to its best, and the bluebells will be out soon, when the woods will be at their most attractive.
The new track at Higher Treworgey