Archive for 2011

Alternative Christmas Trees | 27th Dec, 2011

Here’s a great idea from Rod & Heather, instead of spending a small fortune on a christmas tree, they’ve decorated one of there own.  Rod was cutting some birch so it was probably headed for the brash pile anyway.  They  think it must have been an old tradition in Sussex as one of their friends remembered her father always brought  birch in to decorate at Christmas.

Planting Trees | 21st Dec, 2011

There is something very satisfying  about planting trees.  I’m not talking about  the 21st century ‘instant gratification’ sort of satisfaction. More the knowledge that  you are making a difference to  the landscape; how it will  look in years to come  and the kind of ecosystem the trees will support and be part of.  I find this comforting even if we probably won’t be around to see them all come to maturity.

Below is an article from the FC about the massive tree planting program going on in Wales this winter.

On behalf of all the SWOG team, I’d like to thank everyone for contributing to the forum, the website and coming along to this year’s  meetings.  Hoping to see as many of you as possible in 2012, have a very Happy Christmas, prosperous New Year and much enjoyment from your woodlands.


Richard Hare
SWOG website editor

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Scything – A great alternative to the two stroke petrol engine! | 11th Dec, 2011

Earlier this year, SWOG went down to the Westonbirt show to meet members in that part of the country and promote the group and small woodland ownership in general.  Afterwards we were kindly hosted by Nigel and Elaine from Lapwing wood and their neighbour Mike.

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Christmas & New Year Newsletter | 02nd Dec, 2011

Many thanks to Sarah who has pulled out all the stops to produce a bumber Christmas and New Year edition of the Newsletter.

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West Weald Landscape Partnership | 27th Nov, 2011

Petra Billings had sent us the  Autumn edition of the West Weald Landscape Partnership newsletter.  This will obvioiusly be of particular interest for those in the south east, but there are still plenty  of interesting articles.

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Wilderness First Aid Course | 19th Nov, 2011

Thanks to Mike and Tracy who report on a really worthwhile emergency first aid course they have just been on.  Something that everyone doing potentially dangerous things in the woods really ought to consider.

I’m reliably informed that no limbs or body parts where actually removed from any of the participants!

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Concert for Trees | 14th Nov, 2011

Thanks to David Leslie for bringing to our attention  information about what looks like being a fantastic event in Edinburgh

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Dormice Monitoring | 07th Nov, 2011

Rodney and Heather  have supplied us with a fascinating report on their newly found fondness for dormice and the steps they are taking  to encourage them to flourish in their wood.

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November Newsletter | 30th Oct, 2011

Autumn colours - Picture courtesy of Elaine Hodgeson

The November Newsletter is now on line.  Sarah has put out a great edition this month with some interesting articles.

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Chilterns Woodlands Project – Events for Winter 2011 | 20th Oct, 2011

There are some interesting events going on in the Chilterns this winter.  If anyone has events in their local area they would like to publicise, feel free to forward them on to [email protected]

Download the complete schedule here.

Native Hands courses | 17th Oct, 2011

Native hands still have a few places on their Autumn Schedule.  see details below.

sat 22nd oct: hedgerow foraging at Wowo
sat 19th nov: acorn day
Our days run from 10.30am – 4.30pm and all are suitable for beginners as well as those with some experience.
Please scroll down for more detailed info about the course contents and prices, and If you’d like to book a place just let us know.
If you’d like to book on the days at Wowo please contact them directly
Our facebook page is a great place to see photos and keep up to date with what’s happening. Just click on this link:
We look forward to seeing you,
warm wishes

hedgerow basketry (reed mace) at Wowo (with Ruby Taylor): make a small twined basket out of reed mace (sometimes called bulrush) from plants we’ve harvested from the land at Wowo. Learn how to add a cordage handle and also how to harvest and prepare the material yourself. There’ll be time to connect with the beautiful surroundings, making the day a nourishing as well as a learning experience. Max 8 participants, cost £45. Bookings taken by Wowo directly. Contact them via their website:

foraging hedgerow medecine at Wowo (with Anna Richardson): autumn is abundant with wild produce. Discover some of the old ways of working with our native plants for food, medicine and other practical uses. In the morning we’ll walk through the landscape gathering seasonally available plants for these purposes, then spend the afternoon preparing and making things round the fire. Cost £35. Bookings taken by Wowo directly. Contact them via their website:

acorn day (with Anna Richardson): we’ll gather acorns from the woods and go through the different processes to make them into a good food. Learn a range of culinary uses and recipes and how to store acorns for the year ahead. Acorns are a highly nutritious and widely available wild food, valued by indigenous peoples throughout the world. Here, the oak is at the heart of this land, so eating from the tree is a connecting experience. Max 8 participants, cost £40

Anna has extensive knowledge and experience of native wild plants. Her self-taught research led to a year-long bushcraft/survival training. She also trained in Plant Spirit Medicine by Eliot Cowan and since 2003 has been mentored by archaeo-botanist Professor Gordon Hillman. She runs courses for adults at Sussex University and is also a facilitator with Art of Mentoring UK, based on the teachings of Jon Young

Red Squirrel Week | 08th Oct, 2011

Annabel Harrison from the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s has written to us with news of a project which aims to track the numbers of red and Grey Squirrels.

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October Newsletter | 30th Sep, 2011

Picture courtesy of Elaine Hodgeson

Well Autumn should really be well underway now, but the weather this week seems to be telling us something different.   This year seems to be a bumber crop for berries:  hawthorn, sloe, elder, the hedgrows are brimming, as is this months newsletter.

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| 27th Sep, 2011

Kevin Lerwill of the Gatwick Greenspace Partnership has sent us an interesting article about a recent overnight camp in a wood near Rusper. Their aim is to conserve and enhance the Sussex landscape, its wildlife and habitats and inspire people to care about their natural environment to help safeguard the county for future generations.

Gatwick greenspace is part of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, you will find them on Facebook and Twitter. To  join follow this link

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Bentley Woodfair | 19th Sep, 2011

SWOG was at the  Bentley Woodfair again which took place last weekend.  It is one of the biggest and best shows in the country and could take you the whole weekend to go round.

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