2004 Scrapbook
Coppicing at Dinton Pastures
2 Oct 2004

Our supply of sticks was getting a bit low, so off to Dinton Pastures to harvest some more.

The coppicers were: Abi, Bob, Chris, Colin, Dave K, Diane, Doug, Gill, Jenny, Jerry, Linda, Mike G, Owen (Abi's brother), Nikki, Pam, Susie and Vera. Rob (Hook Eagles), Peter, Ian and Dave (Wicket Brood) also joined us.

Click the pictures to enlarge them

The aim of coppicing is to open up the woodland a little so that plants can grow on the woodland floor, and the Hazel trees can put up new and even growth.

Whilst some of us felled trees, the remainder chopped up the branches, looking out for suitable stick-making material. After a while we had built up quite a heap of debris and had a good fire burning.

There is something very therapeutic about slashing and burning!

Below left: Gill, Chris and Colin. Below right: Susie, Abi. Gil, Dave, Chris, Owen and Colin.

Apart from being a lot of fun, there was a lot of work done that day.

Right: Nikki (I think it's Nikki!)

Below: Linda and Bob

Below them: Pam and Doug

We asked some of our friends along to join us.

Below left: Rob (Hook Eagles, Mayflower and Tarrantella).

Below right: Ian and Peter from Wicket Brood.

Will this stick do?

Chris being a bit optimistic

Deep in the forest, something stirs.

Owen working on the debris.

Lunchtime for the woodland folk.

Owen, Chris, Colin, Abi, Jerry, Nikki, Diane, Dave, Rob, Doug.

Dougs amazing volcanic kettle is on the boil.

The stick mountain gradually rose during the day.

Long ones, short ones, thick ones, thin ones. Some too old, some too young, and some just right!

And the sticks weren't much better!

What is it about fires?

Left: Vera and Mike start one of their own. Bob is doing something with a tree in the background.

Below left: Diane adds to the conflagration.

Below: Owen isn't actually on the fire.

By about tea time, we were slowing down.

Pam looking very fetching in wet-weather gear.

The apres-coppice.

First a chinese meal for 14, then a few silly games and some music.

Abi and Owen relax.

After a bit of a share-out to Hook Eagles and Wicket Brood, we were left with about 100 sticks suited to OBJ's needs.

First they are cut to 30 inches, then the ends are dipped in diluted PVA to seal them. This allows the stick to season evenly, and the ends are trimmed off to 24 inches in the finishing process, when they are de-barked and smoothed.

Here they are at home, trimmed, dipped and placed in the loft to season.

Click the pictures to enlarge them