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Giving Bert and Sleepy Bob some space - Ancient Ash hedge trees

Today I decided that it was time to coppice the hazel stools that grow at the feet of Bert and his son Sleepy Bob.
Sleepy Bob is on the left and was born when AGES ago Bert (on the right) was laid as a hedge.
These Ash trees are so full of character and have shaped the flora around them. The area around these, two of our oldest Ash trees at Stock Wood, has a different atmosphere than the Oak woodland or the hazel coppice. It has the feel of a warm southern woodland, where primroses and bluebells are in abundance and our only wind flowers grow.

This is where I go when I want to meditate outdoors. I often don't mean to come here but somehow always end up at Berts feet.

Bert and his millions of nature
The trunk of Bert is completely hollow and has the most incredible heady scent. He used to be on top of a stone bank, which you can just make out at his base but that's mostly degraded now. He also has Old Ivy growing around his main stem and she is very top heavy. She's not doing so well this year and so I'm thinking of pollarding that stem, which will sadly kill poor Old Ivy but will save Bert from having his trunk split and give him a new lease of life. Hopefully setting him up for another few hundred years!

That's the back of Bert on the left and Sleepy Bob on the right
The hazel stools that were growing at the base of Bert and Sleepy Bob were very dense and about 30yrs old or so.  With the river being right next to the trees it can be quite damp around that area.  So to get more light and air to the guys we've coppiced those stools and the area is transformed! Can't wait to see whether there's an explosion of wildflowers in the Spring!

Brash pile for wildlife
Got lots of good firewood from the hazel, as well as some long, straight rods for hurdles and other crafts. We don't burn brash (the twiggy bits classed as 'waste' from coppicing/tree felling/hedgelaying). We love making nice and dense brash piles loved by wildlife. Above is the brash pile from today's coppicing. A gorgeous big pile that'll hopefully be home to millions of beasties very soon!

hen xx

1 comment:

  1. Your post really made me smile this cold wintery evening. My father's name was Bob and his nickname for my brother was always Bert....

    Oh yes, and we grew up in a village called...wait for it....Ash Vale!

    Lovely photos of a lovely looking part of the world :-)

    ReplyDelete

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