I recently joined a Tamar Valley AONB organised woodland day at the local Pentillie estate. The star of the show was not the woodlands, but a Shire Horse called Jack. Horses were of course the main means of extraction for timber, prior to the arrival of tractors and harvesters. In recent years they have been used in very sensitive sites, where heavy machinery would damage the soil and vegetation, for example on nature reserves.
Costs can, however, be very high, especially if the timber has to be hauled a long way. But John and Freya Williams, who would claim to be part of Jack’s family, have been very good with their marketing, selling ash and beech firewood at very good prices. The customer gets a quality product and the improved margins enable extra woods to be well managed, and indeed provide an income to the woodland owner.
I was impressed enough to invite John and Freya to look at Treragin Wood, as I am in need of a helping hand. Watch this space. In the meantime Peggy wants some more logs, though with an outside temperature of 22 degrees I’m not sure why! One for the weekend…….
Last month I spent some time at Chelfham Woods, making a start on track improvements. This included some minor tree felling and then working with Roger for three days. Roger is a local agricultural contractor and a dab hand with a tracked excavator!