Archive for 2017

Newsletter December 2017 | 04th Dec, 2017

December newsletter

The festive season has arrived again and we wish all our members a very Merry Christmas.

Take a few moments to read the latest news from SWOG, including

  • New woodland creation and PAWS restoration grants for the Midlands
  • Special offers on books for Christmas
  • Discounted workshops and courses around the coutnry
  • First aid tips from Land Based First Aid.

Launching the Tree Charter | 07th Nov, 2017

It was great to celebrate the launch of the Charter for Trees Woods and People at Lincoln this week. More than 70 organisations have worked for two years under the leadership of the Woodland Trust to create a new tree charter that aims to put protection for trees and woodlands at the heart of government environmental policy and to celebrate the role that trees play in all our lives. Read more …

Newsletter November 2017 | 02nd Nov, 2017

November newsletter

What can woodland owners do about soil erosion and depletion?  We look at the launch of the Sustainable Soil Alliance, which provides some ideas.

Rich is building a timber-framed barn using traditional techniques as far as possible, and all from wood he has felled and milled himself. Read his account of how it’s all going.

Finally, there are bargains to be had if you are thinking about a woodland course. Plumpton College is offering 25% off a selection of their short courses and the Woodland Skills Centre offers 10-15% of their autumn offerings.

Building a New ‘Old’ Barn – Part I | 19th Oct, 2017

As a tiny acorn can eventually lead to much bigger things, so has the seed of an idea I had of building a new barn to season my wood and store my forestry equipment.   I have been managing two small woodlands on the edge of the High Weald AONB of  East Sussex for 3 or 4 years now.  Both have been neglected and both have been in a transition from working coppice to a high canopy of crowded oak and hence a suffering understory. Read more …

Memories of the Great Storm of 1987 | 13th Oct, 2017

Britain went to bed on the night of 15th October 1987 having heard weather forecaster Michael Fish reassure the nation that it might be a bit windy, but there was certainly no prospect of a hurricane engulfing the country. Read more …

Newsletter October 2017 | 05th Oct, 2017

We couldn’t let the October newsletter blow by without reminiscing about the great storm of 1987. Arborist Christopher Sparkes shares his memories of Britain’s windiest night. Was the storm actually a blessing in disguise for trees in southern England?

Karen Elliott, a winner of both SWOG’s Big Picture Competition and a Woodland Award for photography, tells us about her prize, a two-day coppicing course at Malvern Coppicing with Phil Hopkinson.

Newsletter September 2017 | 04th Sep, 2017

The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness appears to have started early this year and SWOG is gearing up for autumn. With  news of workshops and courses around the country, the September newsletter includes a useful piece on tree tech: mobile apps for tree ID, wildlife recording and woodland management.

More than 1,000 people across England, Scotland and Wales have taken part in the British Woodland Survey, which closes at the end of the month. The Sylva Foundation hopes that many more owners and managers will take part – don’t miss your chance to have a say in the development of forestry policy and practice.

Sign up for the SWOG meeting in north Wales on 28 October, or come and say hello at the Bentley Woodfair on 15-17 September, where we will have a stall and hope to see lots of members. SWOG members can obtain discounted entry for just £10 (instead of  £14 on the gate) – see the newsletter for the voucher.

Butterfly Workshop 30th July | 18th Aug, 2017

The last in our series of butterfly workshops was held at Combwell, an SSSI  (Site of Special Scientific Interest) in the heart of the High Weald of Kent.  It was well attended by about 18 owners and other interested parties who enjoyed a breezy, but mostly sunny and dry tour of the woods. Read more …

Newsletter August 2017 | 02nd Aug, 2017

It may be the dog days of summer, but in our latest newsletter, SWOG members can look forward to a packed autumn schedule of courses and workshops. Read about the SWOG butterfly workshops and download our information sheets here.

We’re also looking forward to the Bentley Woodfair in September, and SWOG members qualify for an exclusive discount.

Butterfly Notes | 25th Jul, 2017

Thanks to Steve Wheatley and Neil Hulme of Butterfly Conservation for these notes about butterfly species and how to encourage them in woodlands.

Butterflies of Plattershill Woods

Tottington butterflies

Combwell butterflies

Butterfly Workshop 23rd July | 24th Jul, 2017

If our last workshop at Plattershill proved to be the perfect conditions for spotting and identifying butterflies, this weekends event was almost exactly the opposite.  It was promising sunshine as I drove along the bottom of the South Downs to the event at a woodland close to the village of Small Dole in  the Adur Valley, however as soon as we got out of our cars it was rain jackets on as it started to drizzle, then fluctuated between a light rain and heavy mist for the rest of the afternoon. Read more …

Butterfly Workshop 2nd July | 06th Jul, 2017

Last Sunday saw the first of a series of SWOG and Butterfly Conservation joint workshops.   About a dozen SWOG members, owners and other interested parties joined us at Plattershill Wood in West Sussex on a close to perfect day for spotting butterflies.  It was warm and sunny with a very light breeze.  If  anything it was a little too hot early on, but as the afternoon went by, it cooled slightly making it ideal for spotting and identifying butterflies. Read more …

Newsletter July 2017 | 03rd Jul, 2017

Summer is in full swing and woodland glades are dappled with sunshine – at least we hope so!

The July newsletter is here:

  • Take Sylva’s British Woodland Owners’ Survey from 7 July
  • Sign up for SWOG meetings – don’t miss a special day at the Bulworthy Project on 15 July
  • Learn about tackling invasive species and see how one group of owners have restored their track.

Finally, our workshops with Butterfly Conservation coincide with the Big Butterfly Count 2017 – do join in and help support butterfly populations.

The Butterfly Effect | 15th Jun, 2017

Managing your woodlands for butterflies

There are over 50 species of butterfly in the UK, along with more than 2,000 species of moth. Sadly, they have all been in decline for the past 40 years, but woodland owners are in a unique position to help support butterfly populations. With just a little work, woodland owners can ensure that their woodlands include areas that favour butterflies and moths. Read more …

Rides Revisited | 13th Jun, 2017

Some of you may have been aware of the ride improvement project  SWOG members in the south east  have benefitted from over the last 18 months or so.  (See articles in last year’s March and June  newsletters, and occasional  updates here). Read more …

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