James and I decided that the other weekend was a good time to start surveying the woodland. So we togged up and off we went with paper, books and camera in hand!!!
We went into the woodland from the furthest corner of big field….
And we worked our way down through the woodland a way noting hazel, and oak trees and an occasional ash. We need to sort out our boundary line in the woodland as the old banked hedged section has fallen into disrepair and there is evidence that sheep have been going back and forth between us and our neighbour.
We have some strangely knarled trees…
The second one looks like there is an old face in the nook!
And we have a lot of holes in the bank!!
We have a glade area almost here which might service brilliantly as a forest school area for the the fire circle etc!!
There were some lovely fungi and some celandines and other ground flora starting to poke through too.
We mapped out this section of woodland carefully and then decided to slither and slide our way down to the stream which is our bottom boundary.
I have been really lucky recently and have been allowed to attend a forest schools leader training course!!! So much fun and it’s going to be amazing for my class to access and beyond in school!!! I am going to set up a forest schools area on the farm, as we have an established area at school, so my establishment module with its management plans etc is mainly going to be set at the farm!! But anyway the course…..
We had theory…..
We had games…..
But then we had lit fires…..
Lit Kelly kettles….
Shelter tarps rigged into shelters which withstood the wind and the rain and the hail!!!
We learnt knot tying… Square lashing, frapping, clove hitches, two round turns and half hitches etc…..
We made pictures about the structure of the woodland…..
And started to name and label bits of trees and woodland flora we found!!!!
As I said so much fun… But it’s going to be a LOT of work over the next few months….. But I am still REALLY excited and can’t wait to start using our school forest schools area and also weirdly excited to be looking at my own woodland and developing management plans and the site!!!! Even though it seems to mean mapping the whole nine acres!!!! I may be in the woods a while for that one!! I hope the ordinance survey shows up how steep some of it is in large enough forms too…. Abseiling forest school anyone?!?
Laying the rest of the hedge at the end of half term we found…..
A fox den?!
Mmmmmmm might be time to crack out the trail cam again!! Though maybe we have disturbed this entrance hole enough for now!
Mmmmm a white blob in the field…..
What could it be……
The farmer who rents the fields put 26 sheepies in the field but all supposed to be barren or at least not pregnant this year……
Eek could it be remnants of dead sheepie…..
Eaten by what….. (Maybe the puma one of the neighbours keeps mentioning!!)
So I crept closer…..
Not dead remnants!!!!
Yay a little lambkin!!
Hardy little bugger mind, he/she was born amidst the snow!!!
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!!
Our sheep tenants are back in the fields!!!!
Every time we are spotted at the gate (usually with the dog) they run to a further point in the field making photos rather hard to get!!!
Whilst the borehole was being dug I took a few photos around the farm…..