More wood stocks

We have continued to process the wood that we have been cutting down…..
The logs have been cut and chopped and stacked!!! And we have rearranged the barn a smidge to make more room to stack wood!


We have been sorting the wood to be sawn and the wood to be chopped….



And even chipping the branches so we can use them as path or bedding mulch!!


We have mainly cut goat willow (Salix Caprea) and tidied up some branches and the leylandii!!!! And have been trying to work out how much we will use/need to have for a year of stove use!! James’ parents brought us a poem a while back…

Beech-wood fires burn bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year;
Store your beech for Christmastide
With new-cut holly laid beside;
Chestnut’s only good, they say,
If for years ’tis stored away;
Birch and fir-wood burn too fast
Blaze too bright and do not last;
Flames from larch will shoot up high,
Dangerously the sparks will fly;
But ash-wood green and ash-wood brown
Are fit for a Queen with a golden crown.

Oaken logs, if dry and old,
Keep away the winter’s cold;
Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke;
Elm-wood burns like churchyard mould,
E’en the very flames are cold;
It is by the Irish said;
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread,
Apple-wood will scent the room,
Pear-wood smells like flowers in bloom;
But ash-wood wet and ash-wood dry
A King may warm his slippers by.


This gives you a start as to what will burn… I.e. The leylandii will burn quick and bright….
But we have been hunting further…. Willow is apparently also a poor wood…. Mmmmmmm we have a few oak branches…. And a load of bits to tidy up!!!


We have rats….. (Warning this post contains graphic details please don’t read on if you dislike the use of rat traps)

Kind of expected on the farm, where they are entering the tin hut and chewing holes in plaster board walls….


But now we have them in our attic at home too!!!!

Now James and I have three cats…..

Marmalade my ancient ginger, who would know what to do but is as aforementioned is ancient……


Frodo a elderly tabby who is house cat extraordinaire and would probably just poke them and run!


And Parker…. Young….. Has fairly vindictive tendencies….. Could probably do the job…. But is the size of a badger and one pounce onto I boarded attic territory would mean a huge hole in the ceiling…..

Here he is playing pillow to an ailing old Polly dog back in September days before she passed away….

Well Art Bart and Fargo here have been deemed useless…..

So I popped off the the hardware shop and bought myself some mega big rat traps….

We set them in the attic at home and within ten minutes of going to bed on night one bang a trap goes off!!! And thank fully didn’t blast through the ceiling!!!

After work the following day we headed up to the attic to retrieve the corpse……..


One down how many more do you think we have in a three storey townhouse of relatively new construction!!!! Then the traps will tootle with us down the motorway to clear out the tin hut on the weekend!!! Just hope the force of the traps doesn’t blow a hole in the walls/ceiling in the tin house!!

More bramble destruction!

Whilst James played with the beast!!! I hacked down some more chunks of the bramble patches along the pipe stream bank and into the woodland!!! Got a big chunk done too not that it shows from the top of the hill, because it went down the side and around the back of the colossal patch to allow the beast to be able to travel through the patch and then turn and complete the bramble munching!!








Found another sheep skull too!! Maybe it’s the puma!!! Lol!!


Another new arrival!!

We had a fantastic delivery last weekend on the smallholding!!!! James’ parents bought him an early birthday pressie!!!



Introducing the BEAST!!!
It is an amazing field and brush mower that is going to make maintaining the field sooooo much easier!!!! It weighs a tonne and has literally eaten it’s way across the field that will be the orchard!!

So exciting!!!! Thank you Mummy and Daddy S!!!!!

Hedge restoration

In the big field where we have some resident sheep belonging to our land tenant there are large section of hedgerow which are solely ferns no trees left…. Shelter belt diminished and some areas look like failed laying of the previous trees…..

We managed to get some free hedgerow trees around 30…. Holly, hawthorn, blackthorn, dog rose, dog wood and hazels and James and I got planting….

We created channels in the ferns for added baby trees protection… From our wooly friends etc…



Then we planted the trees at regular intervals and added protective measures!!


All the while watched by our sheepy friends from a safe distance across the field!!


More wood collections

James has cut down a goat willow!!


Here it is mid stream, and now here it isn’t, with another puppy photo bomb!!!


We have loaded all the logs into Ally the gator….


And popped them in the barn ready for splitting and stacking!!


All the branches are piled high in the fields, I think either for hauling to the barn to pass through the chipper ready for paths or for making more beacon fires…. Probably for the chipper on the next wet day!!

We are making good progress on June log piles ready for the log fired stove/heating system and cooker!! And plus we are freeing up valuable stream bank space for spring ready for the planting of the basketry willows!! Or Salix purpurea!! Can’t wait for all those fabulous colours to be there in winter!!!

Further upgrades!

James’ parents joined us at the farm a few weeks past and we have a few more upgrades to the tin hut and house!!!

An outdoor security light, fabulous when we arrive soooo late on a Friday night after work!!

A tin hut that resembles Fort Knox!!!

And an improvement of the post system!!! Which was previously an upturned bucket…..


And is now this superb outfit!!!


Building control!!

Ha ha!!!! After the building control officers visit back in October, building work stopped….

Now we are in possession of a structural engineers report that states we don’t need to remove rebuild or generally fart arse about too much, no steel is required and we only need a couple of truss clips and bolts!!!! Hurrah!!!!! Best £420 spent thus far!!

Think on receipt of that report I did a little “up yours building control” dance, even though I understand his caution is for our safety!!

As well as this we are in possession of architects plans for the the stairs!!!! Building works can recommence!!!!! Hurrah!!!!! And it was far cheaper than we had dared hope!! Site visit and plans £120!!!!!

Onwards builders onwards!!!!!