Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March 2014 Woodland Update!

So we have rigged up a new extra strong tarp after the storms got the better of the last one. With a new design too, which uses just ropes in a kind of criss cross way so hopefully the whole tarp moves and gives with the wind with no particular stress points.

You can also see my new woodworking bench, made from sycamore with chestnut planks. It is really solid, and has a heavy duty vice donated by a woodland neighbour (thanks Andy!) So getting set up with a better working area to start making more cool stuff!

Looks like we may have some mischievous kids around though, this large water butt was full and would have taken some serious pushing over! See all the bluebell shoots coming up though where the leaves were washed away by their mini tsunami.

Talking of flora and such, here were Mums finds of the day:
1. Colt's foot

2. Dog's Mercury

3. Scarlet Elf Cup Fungus

4.  Turkey tail bracket fungus

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Autumn 2013 Wood Update.

Just a quick update, haven't posted in ages and it was my ambition to do more and keep a record of it here, so I failed a bit this year really. For one reason or another work took it out of me this year but it looks like we are ending on a high with this fantastic kickstarter project This success should also mean more wood time coming up and here's a few autumn photos to get things started.

Mum's finds of the day!

Bacon Sandwiches and Tea for lunch!

It was  real bumper crop of sweet chestnuts this year!

My planks for tree house construction are coming along well. I'm using a Granberg small log mill attachment on my Stihl 261 Chainsaw. 

Made some extra high swings for any visiting children (and adults) to play on.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Walk Around Britian

Just stumbled across these very inspirational guys Ed and Will, here's a short youtube video for you enjoy and their website here

Friday, May 3, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Woodland Party

My 40th Fell on a Saturday which all worked out really well in the end. Most of the Friday was spent clearing huge chunks of ice from the access track, many thanks for helping with this back breaker guys!

But on the Saturday the sun came out and it at last felt more like an April spring day, here are some shots of people enjoying the wood.

Mum made me a log birthday cake!

As the Sun went down the fire got bigger and a few even camped over.

Many thanks to everyone who came, and super thanks to all of the volunteers who helped with many of the preparations, too many people to list, but so many helped do some many different tasks. Thanks Anthony and John for the use of some of the better photos on this page too. Here's to the next party, cheers all Tom

Thursday, April 4, 2013

More Birthday Preparations!

Things are progressing nicely ready for Saturday, still plenty to sort out but myself and a band of helpers got lots done on Wednesday. I got to put my new Froe (gransfors bruks) to good use with the updated table design and split all the cross pieces before nailing them to the runners. 

Table coming along nicely in the snowy setting

A day later and its melting away and the table is nearly finished

A mysterious flag appears, later found out it was kindly delivered by my woodland neighbours, Mary, Peter and Kim!

Merry band of helpers putting up the big tarp.

The result so far!

Still just light enough to work at 7.45!

Even though the wood is now pretty much clear of snow you can see we have a problem below, the access track is a nightmare! My car had to be towed out (thanks again Peter, Mary and Kim). Hopefully a few of us will be able to clear this tricky section Friday morning ready for the guests to arrive. (So see you tomorrow guys and don't forget your shovels!)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Birthday Party Preparations

It's supposed to be spring and in a few days we are supposed to be having a bbq/camping weekend for my birthday, but there is still time for the snow to thaw and actually working in the wood when it's like this is very enjoyable, its just a bit of a trek to get there at the moment with the deep snow stopping any car access.

Once you are passed the deep drifts it's a walk along the top edge of the wood where its quite exposed and cold.

But once you have made it into the wood, its really sheltered and occasionally the sun even comes out!

We rigged up the snow flattened tarp and set about on moving the large wood pile that was standing on one of the only flat parts to the wood where we want to set up the party table.

At least the abundant laurel makes half decent stakes.

Dad turned up and helped with the start of the table construction, my chainsaw mill is still on order and wont arrive in time, so there will be no planks and we are going to have to go for a more rustic approach.

And the highlight of the day was lunch! Warin was testing out our planned cooking method, we think we may have 20-30 guests so we needed a fairly simple solution that we can scale up. The 'swinging cake cooling rack' approach seemed to work really well, so we think 30 odd simultaneous sea bass should be doable. The cake racks are from the local bargain shop and the fish will prob come from Birmingham fish market (they don't catch them there). 

The end result as you can see below was absolutely delicious!

Well done Warin!