Small Woodland Owners' Group

Tree Bogs

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Tree Bogs

Postby Wendelspanswick » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:25 pm

Now that I have sorted out the new gate's and access to the woods the next project before we embark on the building of our shed/barn is a tree bog.
I have read the online articles and the article in the newsletter recently but I am concerned about flies!
The articles suggest a platform about 1m above the ground with this area enclosed with two layers of chicken mesh with bracken/grass stuffed stuffed between the two.
As I have some heavy duty pond liner offcuts I am thinking that this might be better. Four uprights clad with timber with the pond liner fixed to the inside of this, the bottom ends tucked a few inches into the soil and the top edges fixed to the underside of the 'sitting' platform. With an airtight seal on the hole cover this should exclude flies?
Or am I over thinking this, its just that I don't want a toilet shed swarming with flies.
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Re: Tree Bogs

Postby Dexter's Shed » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:47 am

camping last summer we had quite a few midges flying around the camping area, so we purchased some of those bamboo stick oil burners (x10) from one of the pound stores, the oil/fly repellent we picked up a 5ltr from the garden centre for around £7, and apart from having them dotted around the camp area, we had one inside the toilet tent, apart from providing light, it kept the little critters at bay, and our toilet is a simple hole and plastic drum, we cover deposits in cold ash from the fire, keeping it simple means we can move its position on a 12/18 month basis, rather than having it piled up in one area

http://youtu.be/DPkfanb5TSg
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Re: Tree Bogs

Postby Meadowcopse » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:51 pm

Meadowcopse
 
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Re: Tree Bogs

Postby Dexter's Shed » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:59 pm

Meadowcopse wrote:"'Elf and safety mate, init..."

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/library/position/34157.aspx


makes me chuckle when people quote health & safety stuff, it's as if they have forgotten the age of the uk, and the hundreds of thousands of people that did indeed s**t in the woods, long before we let ourselves get led into such madness, our woodland is quoted to be from 1645, seems s**ting in the woods has done our trees well
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Re: Tree Bogs

Postby Meadowcopse » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:10 pm

I have about 8 pages of Env Agency 'exemptions' (A recent prosecution in Sheffield saw a 5 figure fine for inappropriate wood waste activities and lack of permitry)

U10 Spreading waste on agricultural land (agricultural waste only)
U12 Spreading mulch (agricultural waste only)
U13 Spreading of plant matter to confer benefit (agricultural waste only)
U14 Incorporation of ash into soil (agricultural waste only)
T6 Treatment of waste wood and waste plant matter by chipping, shredding, cutting or pulverising (agricultural waste only)
T23 Aerobic composting and associated prior treatment (agricultural waste only)
D1 Deposit of waste from dredging of inland waters (agricultural waste only)
D3 Deposit of waste from a portable sanitary convenience (agricultural waste only)
D7 Burning waste in the open (agricultural waste only)

Should just about cover keeping on top of the hedges and ditches...
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Re: Tree Bogs

Postby davetb » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:54 pm

Hi,
We built a tree bog a few years ago and it's been fab.
There's a picture of it on page 7 in the July 2013 newsletter, on this site.
No smells or flies.
We wanted 'light & airy'.
The top part has hessian walls with some split wood cladding - to stop you falling out.
The bottom compartment needs chicken wire to exclude larger animals and needs to allow aerobic decomposition.
It started as 6 straw bales arranged to allow any deposits to hit the ground in centre. The straw just acts as a curtain, so you can't see anything. A feral cow and calf spent 6 months destroying it - to try to eat straw. I have now clad the bottom with wood - to stop you seeing anything and keeps large (400kg) animals out. Any deposits now hit the residual straw - moved by cows and get sprinkled with sawdust. Absolutely no smell. The main thing is to try to minimise amount of urine, keep it dry.
It doesn't need the straw, but I'm happy to leave it rather than try to get it out.
I was discussing it with a man at the 'Centre for alternative technology' who feels it is way too over engineered for essentially 1 family and friends. He felt it would be fine for a permanent campsite, in daily use.
The kids frequently play in it, as a den.
Cheers.
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Re: Tree Bogs

Postby Wendelspanswick » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm

Started building the Treebog today, I have dug in four 4" square posts 3000mm long, burying 500mm in the ground leaving 2500mm above ground, the platform is 1000mm above the ground.
The posts are spaced 48" to the outside edge. (Sorry for the mix of Imperial and Metric, it's how my brain works!).
The platform, door frame and roof truss were all made from 3 1/2" by 1 1/2" timber.
So far I have used four 3.6m lengths.
All the timber used up till now is pressure treated softwood from Mole Valley Farmers, about £50 worth so far.
Back off to MVF to get some more timber to finish the roof.
I am planning to clad the sides and roof with homemade shingles, my Froe is nicely sharpened so I will see if I can find a suitable butt to ring up, no Chestnut here so if I can't find a suitable Oak butt it will have to be Ash shingles which I will have to treat as it is a non durable timber.
image.jpg
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Re: Tree Bogs

Postby Dexter's Shed » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:45 am

it's looking good so far, even though it's not a permanent structure, as it could be lifted out, are there any restrictions where outsiders may see this as a fixed structure, I ask, as I remember reading an article by a woodland owner, where the powers that be, made him remove such a toilet from his wood
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Re: Tree Bogs

Postby Wendelspanswick » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:59 am

It's not visible unless you are on our property so you would have to be trespassing to know it was there. I am pretty confident that even if a complaint was made we are on pretty safe ground as we will need toilet facilities during the construction of our barn.
Blue plastic Portaloo versus a Treebog which should blend in to its surroundings?
Plus the delivery and maintenance of a Portaloo would be nigh on impossible without a four wheel drive.
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Re: Tree Bogs

Postby Rich » Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:42 am

I've been reading a bit about these designs, from what I can gather you want to keep the toilet moist but not too wet for the right aerobic conditions for composting. I think it can become an issue if you mix too much urine with faeces so I wonder if it would be worth venting it with an old soil pipe or something to try and keep a good flow of air and keep the moisture content down? I've seen portaloos with a vent,(for different reasons I guess of smell), but none of the designs I've seen online seem to have one.
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