Community Woodland News

The blog before Christmas…

Dear woodlanders,

All this rain has turned the woods into a total bog, nevertheless it has been an enjoyable week here in Gillies Hill Community Woodland. Here’s my update.

Well, I have finally become a true woodman by taking up temporary residence here on site. One of the feats of Hercules, my caravan was persuaded into position snugly in the walled garden with help from Drew, Tom and Gerard. Both engine and muscle were strained by this task, and in the end the good old Lug-al winch saved the day. It’s nice and cosy with my wee wood burner.

My heroes!
Home sweet home!

With Chris Farquar, the veteran local mountain biker, we are working to manage the mountain bike trails. In such a well-loved and populated woodland, we all have to share the space. Along the trail Street Fighter, we erected this wee slow-down for mountain bikers as they approach the castle drive, where many people walk. We also cleared back some rhodies there to improve the sight line. Similarly, we intend to place marker signs on the posts denoting this trail as a mountain bike trail, so for walkers there need be no confusion. With the application of basic respect and courtesy, we can all enjoy this place whether we are on foot or on a bike.

This dog leg in the trail will mean you have to slow before you hit the drive

Kay came up to the wood to help me begin some surveying of the standing larch. The data I am looking to gather will inform future harvesting and management. Very exciting. We are blessed with these beautiful big larch and douglas fir. Our surveys involved measuring the trees’ diameter and height.

Kay’s a proper tree-hugger!

Very historic moment happened this weekend also – the first timber product from the community woodland was sold. Blair Drummond Sawmill came by to load up and take away the hardwood logs that were stacked up outside the walled garden. Hopefully this can mark the beginning of a good relationship with that local business! One day we will process our own firewood for local consumption, but until we are set up to do so it is good to have local businesses who can make use of what we have.

The right equipment for the job  

No week is complete without a bit of cutting. Firing up the big Sithl once again, Tom and Kay both helped in milling some more of the big larch on Fairy Hill. This timber will provide the materials for a few wee projects….

What a fantastic resource!

That’s all for now. You will probably not hear from me until after the festivities, but as ever you may well spot me in my natural habitat. Feel free to get in touch any time ( I hope you enjoy the merriment on this turning point on the year. It’s been a mad one, eh? But we’ll keep rolling with it and we’ll see what the new year will bring!

The future of the forest  

Merry Christmas and happy new year!