Saturday 25 July 2015

Removing sick Elm trees

We cleared out some sick Elm trees from the river bank this week. It is all part of the programme to open up the river bank down at the Turnditch Orchard Project. We used cable winches to prevent the trees falling into the river and a chain saw to cut the trees. I made good use of my new wader boots as the dummy in the water. 

It is a lot more open than it used to be when we first took possession of the field. There's a couple of pictures below showing the before state.

The river bank before cut back. Notice the marked trees.

Our dog getting ready for a paddle.

There is of course a very large pile of wood now awaiting destruction by burning on site. We don't want to risk spreading the disease any further. I'll devise some kind of furnace to keep the fire temperatures high. Elm is usually not a very good firewood, if left to its own devices it usually produces a lot of acrid smoke when it burns in an open fire.

This tree removal work will make space for us to introduce some erosion control on the river banks.

Friday 10 July 2015

Hedge trim and river cleaning

We had a reasonably productive week so far. With the aid of the new volunteer help we were able to winch a fallen tree from the river. A pile of silt had built up on the river bed where the tree was impeding the water flow. Hopefully that will resolve itself or we'll have to carry many bucket loads of mud from the river.

Fallen tree in the river

We were able to remove some invasive and some poisonous plants from the orchard, namely Himalayan Balsam and also full grown Ragwort. Ragwort is toxic to grazing animals such as horses. The persistent toxins destroy the animals' livers.

I spent a few hours yesterday trimming the roadside hedge which was encroaching the footpath and also beginning to hide some road signs. Thinking about the work made me realise I'd trimmed something like 400 Sq Metres of hedge using hand tools, mostly hawthorn and some ash trees. Wearing bright yellow clothing while working on the roadside footpath was an essential measure. The hump of the railway bridge makes it a blind spot for cars and lorry drivers.