domingo, 4 de maio de 2008

Coppiced woodland

In the pictures above you can see coppiced woodland and the mobile saw mill that can be used for conversion of timber on a small scale. Whilst at Shotley Field and making furniture there for a largely agricultural client base I had full intentions to construct a solar kiln, to dry timber, and buy a very similar milling outfit for my own conversion of timber. I had contact with about four small timber mills and timber dryers, some used converted lorry containers and old refridgerators to form kilns, which on the whole worked. The problem for me was to get the dimensions , thickness, that I needed because I would be ordering timber at least six months in advance of use, I was generally taking orders for furniture at least 18 months in advance for me to cut timber and have it dried. So my idea was to cut and dry for my own use, cheaper and more practical. I had cut and was storing three large Beech trees at the time that I became divorced and had to leave them for others to use for what ever they wished, I had no space to take these logs to Edinburgh.
The old farmland was often fenced with either drystone walls or by coppiced hedges. Coppicing a hedge and then cutting at a steep angle allows for very rapid growth and dense thicket within the hedge, preventing all but the smallest animal escaping. It possibly needs less maintainance than dry walling, which generally needs an inspection by the farmer every few days. The principle is to crop the top of the Holly, Hasel or Beech, whatever is used, and then near the base of the small trunks make a cut into the trunk so that will split under gentle pressure, this is to lay the hedge sideways and thus promote more growth at the base and not the tips of the small trees.
By the way the fugus in the photo is an edible one, at Shotley Field we had lots of different types growing wild near the river and in the woodland, from horse mushrooms the size of dinner plates to puff balls.

There are many features of the British and European forrest and heathland that require maintainance and in many cases restoration.
A habitat is generally understood to mean simply the place where an organism lives. It may also refer to the place occupied by an entire community of organisms. Woodland, ponds, hedges and rotting wood are all habitats. The habitat of an organism or group of organisms (population) includes other organisms as well as the surrounding physical environment.

Landscapes are made up of an interweaving of habitats, often with no clearly defined boundaries. Landscapes have been shaped over aeons by weather, geological movements and latterly by humans. Humans have been an integral part of the landscape for thousands of years and have been shaping and altering their surroundings ever since the discovery of agriculture in Neolithic times in Britain. In order to retain a diversity of habitats and species, it is vital that we continue to have an input through habitat management and restoration.

Over the last hundred years there has been an unprecedented change in the UK countryside and this has resulted in the destruction of British habitats. It is important to appreciate that it is the habitats which are the key to having a diversity of species in the country. You cannot have wildlife without the habitats. These changes have been brought about by modern agriculture, forestry, the extensive urbanization of the countryside and the expansion of every town and city. This is not solely a European problem as here in Brazil the rate of economic growth, partly due to the colapse of other countries economies, is certainly driving an expansion of housing and the vast majority of this is without any form of planning, nearly always take place near rivers and consequently leads to pollution and pollution that is quickly spread.
There is this year a great increase in the mosquito population all over Brazil and the near epidemic proportions of virus related illness such as Dengue. I can vouch for the unpleasantness of Dengue as I caught it a month ago and it left me drained for weeks, there are 4 types of this virus and it can kill.

Um comentário:

  1. Wow! Amazing! I just bought a wood in Buckinghamshire, UK...I wil lhave to make more of it I can tell!