Articles

Smoked leaf prints | 25th Oct, 2018

Thanks to Northamptonshire Archives for permission to reproduce this 1950s craft project.

These simple leaf prints look really striking and we’ve transposed the hand-written instructions from 1956. It involves fire and fat, so proceed at your own risk.

Items needed
Enamel or tin plate
Small quantity of lard
Knife
Taper or candle (I prefer taper. There is not as much tallow dripping down.)
3 pieces greaseproof or similar paper for each leaf
Match
Tree or other plant leaf
A duster is also handy

1. With a knife smear the underside of the plate with lard. (If too much fat is used the print will be blotchy and the fat will run off).

2. Then with a lighted taper, black the plate over the fat. (Hold the plate high and the flame from the taper will do the rest).

3. Place leaf on smoked plate.

4. Place a piece of paper over the leaf and rub well, so that all parts of the leaf have a chance to get black.

5. Remove leaf from plate and place on another piece of paper, smoked side down.

6. Take the third piece of paper, place over the leaf and rub. When you think all the black has been rubbed on to the underneath piece of paper, carefully remove the top piece of paper and the leaf and should have a nice smoke print leaf.

‘I do hope you can understand this.’

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.  Read more …

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” .  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 …

Red squirrels return to the Highlands | 27th Mar, 2018

Few woodland owners relish sharing their wood with grey squirrels, but native red squirrels are a different matter. Trees for Life has launched an appeal to raise £22,000 to ensure a better future for red squirrels in the Highlands of Scotland. Read more …

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 …

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

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 …

Malvern Coppicing – a review | 30th Mar, 2017

Thanks to Annie Vincent for this review of a course at Malvern Coppicing.

This course is a must for all those starting out in their woods and for those that want to learn how to manage and maintain it while ensuring that the wildlife is encouraged, too. Read more …

Low Impact Extraction Ideas – Milling in the Wood | 27th Feb, 2017

IMG_20170105_120220If I look back at the woods I’ve worked and managed over the last few years a common theme emerges. They all seemed to have valuable timber in them, timber that desperately needs felling. Sometimes it’s on an overstood chestnut or ash stool in danger of falling over because of it’s enormous weight. Read more …

Say trees – SWOG’s big picture competition | 01st Dec, 2016

cleared-at-last  gregory  building-eeyores-house Read more …

A Christmas tree for Stony Stratford | 08th Dec, 2015

Every Christmas Trafalgar Square receives a fir tree from the people of Norway. Market Square in Stony Stratford has a tree from a little closer to home, courtesy of SWOG member Andy Malleson who fells one from his small plantation at Gayhurst. Read more …

Artizans of Wood – Roundwood Timber Framing Course | 26th Jul, 2015

Earlier this month I attended the first roundwood timber framing course run by Artizans of Wood at the Dangstein Conservancy in Rogate. The course showed us how to construct a cruck or ‘A’ frame style building from round and somewhat irregular poles. Read more …

Made from Wood from the Wood | 26th Jul, 2015

I’ve been quite aware that a lot of my woodland craft products have been reaching a stage of functionality which will just about do, then pressure of time and other projects seem to move into my field of vision and take over. Read more …

Planting a New Hedge | 25th Mar, 2015

For many woodland owners especially those with ancient woodlands, our hedges are our boundaries. They may have been planted 100’s of years ago, some still managed as hedges, having been layed, pollarded or coppiced many times, others are unrecognisable as a hedge, more a line of full grown trees which is what all hedges aspire to be eventually!

2013-10-11 12.56.50

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