Archive for 2018

Butterflies at Flatropers | 29th Jul, 2018

The White Admirals were out in force in the glorious July weather, when Alice Parfitt, Reserves Manager of the Sussex Wildlife Trust guided a group of SWOG members round Flatropers Wood Nature Reserve. She described the work that Sussex Wildlife  has carried out to encourage butterflies and birds in the woodland. Flatropers is managed by the Trust with the help of volunteers, who record wildlife and work to keep paths and tracks clear for visitors.

Bent to their will | 29th Jul, 2018

Sue and Andy Malleson needed a bit more seating in their wood, so took themselves off on a bentwood chair-making courses at Hanwell Wine Estate with John Hollins.  His courses are incredibly popular and you’ll need to book several months in advance to secure a place. John is a very talented tutor and guides a small groups step-by-step to make their own beautiful bentwood chairs from green hazel

Sue said, ‘Our two- day chair-making course proved to be a lot harder work than I’d imagined. We chose our own materials from hazel bundles provided by our tutor and we had to cut them to size and nail them in place. Working with green wood sounded much easier than it actually was. But the hard work and aches were certainly worth it. The chairs now grace our woodland and are surprisingly comfortable.’

Butterflies Flutterby | 25th Jul, 2018

Many thanks are owed to Martin and Marilyn Garwood of  Crow Wood, part of the Old Park Wood in Goudhurst.  They hosted a wonderful afternoon of butterfly ID and general ‘woodie’ type chat in their wood in July.  They are passionate about wildlife and passed on some valuable  nuggets about how they’ve been managing their wood to attract more butterflies, birds and reptiles, which plants to encourage and how to maintain the light levels for each.  Martin and Marilyn have created a wonderful oasis of wildlife and keep a blog here which you can subscribe to:

At the same time the Big Butterfly Count was on so we had our downloaded ID charts to hand and managed to spot a good variety of species including:

Small and Large Whites, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, Commas, Common Blues, and the turbo-charged Silver Washed Fritillaries all made an appearance.

More photos from the day, including Martin’s neatly constructed method of seasoning firewood, each log is carefully placed and sheds water whilst allowing the air to circulate through the stack.


Gimme Shelter – Building a Simple Woodland Shelter | 17th Jul, 2018

Once you’ve spent any amount of time in the woods, you’ll probably discover that you need some kind of protection from the elements.  Or as Mick Jagger once sang “If I don’t get some shelter …Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away” .   Well hopefully and despite the recent hot weather, it won’t come to that, but making a comfortable area where you can rest, brew a cup of tea and make a simple meal will probably be quite a high priority for you.

We have looked at sheds before and their role in providing  shelter and a safe place to store tools for forestry purposes.  This is not an article about sheds or more permanent structures which may or may not need permission of some kind from the planners, for more detailed information on this, see our leaflet:

This article is intended as a guide to putting up a simple tarpaulin type shelter, using one I built earlier this spring as an example.  It will be temporary, but may last a few seasons depending on what kind of wood you have available and the skills and techniques you are able to muster.

Read more …

Newsletter July 2018 | 09th Jul, 2018

July News

  • The House of Wessex: Sylva’s Anglo-Saxon past
  • Tree champion faces a huge task: the Department of the Environment has appointed Sir William Worsley as the new Tree Champion.
  • New advice for monitoring and felling diseased ash
  • Mammals on Roads survey. The People’s’ Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is running a nationwide survey of mammal sightings along single-carriage roads.

Birds and butterflies in Flatropers Wood | 09th Jul, 2018

Flatropers Wood, Rye, Sussex  14 July 10.30am-1.30pm
A guided walk with Alice Parfitt of the Sussex Wildlife Trust through Flatropers Wood, 37 hectares of mixed woodland, rides and paths. Refreshments will be available next door in the wood of SWOG members Dominic and Wendy Eldred-Earl. Alice will discuss the successful management of Flatropers for butterflies and birds and provide advice for woodland owners. Email [email protected] to book a place.

In search of the Purple Emperor | 27th Jun, 2018

About 20 people met up in Cotgrave Forest to hear about managing woodlands for butterflies from Ben Driver, Southern Conservation Officer with the Notts Wildlife Trust. Read more …

Newsletter May 2018 | 15th May, 2018

Catch up with the latest SWOG news here.

SWOG meeting Nottinghamshire | 11th May, 2018

Butterflies in the Midlands – SWOG meeting
We are delighted to be able to run another meeting about managing woodlands for butterflies, this time in the Midlands.

Thanks to owners in Cotgrave Forest and Ben Driver from the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, there will be a SWOG meeting at Cotgrave, Notts at 2pm on Saturday 23 June.

Ben Driver of the Notts Wildlife Trust will conduct a guided walk to spot butterflies and talk about woodland management for butterfly conservation.

Please email [email protected] to attend.

Sarah Walters | 03rd May, 2018

We received news of the death of Sarah Walters with great sadness on 8 April. Read more …

Torthworth’s trees | 01st May, 2018

Tortworth Churchyard in South Gloucestershire is home to one of Britain’s most ancient sweet chestnut trees, so old in fact, that the first commemorative plaque about the tree is itself 200 years old. Read more …

Culverts – a soggy story | 30th Apr, 2018

Woodland owners in Waste Wood have a proud history of working together to tackle shared woodland tasks. Richard Cooper has written in to tell us about the ‘fun’ he and his partner Fi had while unblocking their culvert. Read more …

Woodfairs 2018 | 29th Apr, 2018

Read more …

Newsletter April 2018 | 04th Apr, 2018

Click here to see the full newsletter

Confor and small woodland owners | 02nd Apr, 2018

Confor is a membership organisation that promotes sustainable forestry and timber production through political engagement, market promotion and supporting members. Read more …


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