A Chairs View

a personal account


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Happy holidays


What a smashing Christ Mass dinner at the Crescent Hotel.

I want to thank the staff for giving us such lovely meals and a beautiful table.

As Chair and as a member I want to thank firstly Alistair for all his hard work,he turns up week after week at the station to provide transport for members. I also want to thank Alan Tomlinson from SBC for giving us such sterling support over the years bringing tools, fetching the trailer, and providing invaluable help,advice to the group and much more. I would also like to thank Elaine for putting up with me falling asleep in the chair every Wednesday evening and snoring.

This coming year we have some challenges: To continue to make the meadow into a wildlife haven and develop a weekend activity day. We are also working with the Wildlife Trust on sites near Boggle Hole and in Harwood Dale, that in its self will provide us with some wonderful experiences. We will also be working at our usual sites throughout the year and perhaps a few we have not been to as yet.

I want to wish all our members the very happiest of Christ Masses & the jolliest of New Years.

Ron

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Hand Splitting Firewood (Part I)


Path To The Frontier

I thought it might be worthwhile to have a discussion item on splitting firewood by hand having observed that for many people this isn’t something they’ve readily experienced or utilized. For those practiced in hand splitting the firewood rounds, they probably won’t read anything here that they don’t already know. However, for those of you that haven’t split wood by hand or have limited experience doing it, I hope you find this informative.

There are many tools and techniques for splitting wood but, despite numerous information on the tools and techniques, the most important component regarding splitting wood is the wood itself. The first aspect of wood is whether or not the wood is green or cured. Green wood is typically wood freshly cut from a live tree. Although this type of wood can be more easily manipulated than seasoned wood with some tools to make things such as hand…

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Storing and Drying Firewood for Winter


for you log burners

Urban Overalls

As someone who lives in a climate prone to cold weather and snow, one item comes to mind when staying warm is a priority.  It’s firewood!  Colorado winters just wouldn’t be the same without it. Yet some people pass on it because of the work or they just aren’t certain what to do.

Freshly cut wood is referred to as ‘green’ (unless it is a snag). This green wood is typically cut into logs that are 16″ – 18″ in length.  (This is a length that works well for most wood-burning fireplaces.)  These logs are then stacked and allowed to cure (dry) for at least one year.  This is due to the fact that green wood can have up to 100% moisture content according to Cornell Cooperative Extension.

If you are buying firewood, ask the supplier if they have cured their wood or if it is sold green.  If…

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New day


The ConVols are looking into the possibility of creating another volunteering day perhaps in the week but probably on a Sat .starting on Jan 11 The day would be a “Meadow Day “ and concentrate on working in Raincliffe Meadow. Tasks would include

Tree thinning ( winter )
Log cutting and removal ( winter )
tree planting
bulb planting 
brush clearing
wild life surveys
habitat development
habitat maintenance
Grass cutting & removal
Tree ,wild flower, bird surveys
student supervision
academic research

In the wooded parts of the meadow we have always been looking to use a coppice and standard model of management,the problem with this is we are restricted to the kinds of trees that are already planted or come in natures way ,this would be ok if we were managing the woods just for coppicing but we are not. Wild life must be our number one priority so we are looking at ways to improve the numbers and variety of our tenants and at the same time give the woods a more natural look by breaking up the straight lines, introducing new variety’s of trees, and bushes even possibly a glade or two .

As the name suggests this used to be a traditional English Meadow and despite the tree planting it still has a large grassed area and we are endeavouring to return this back to a beautiful flower meadow. We have started by cutting the grass (first time in over 10 years) and planted the semi parasitic plant “ Yellow Rattle “ this we hope will push back the vigorous grass and allow wild flowers to colonise, it might take a few years but we hope we will see this area covered in flowers in the not to distant future .
Those that are interested in the changes that come about with these interventions that we are making are more than welcome to study with us and you don’t need to commit to every activity day but If your interested in joining us please let us know in advance then we can plan the activities. You can contact me through this site on the contact page and
those that help can have a share of the logs that we cut

 

Come along and join us
Ron
Chair


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A successful day


This Wednesday day was I think a good one for the volunteers. 5000 blue bells planted ,a few hundred oaks planted ,a start on the winter tree thinning and a plan of action for the grass in spring agreed upon. In the wooded parts of the meadow we have always been looking to use a coppice and standard model of management,the problem with this is we are restricted to the kinds of trees that are already planted or come in natures way ,this would be ok if we were managing the woods just for coppicing but we are not. Wild life must be our number one priority so we are looking at ways to improve the numbers and variety of our tenants and at the same time give the woods a more natural look by breaking up the straight lines, introducing new variety’s of trees, and bushes even possibly a glade or two .

The ConVols are also interested in introducing a second volunteering day specifiably for the meadow so if you are interested in doing this please let me know , We are looking for those people that can help with

tree thinning

log cutting & removal

tree planting

bulb planting

brush clearing

wild life surveys

habitat development

habitat maintenance

As you can see some of these tasks need some hard physical work others are more academic so we have something for most outdoor voluntary tastes