Archive for 2013

Coping with Deer in Areas of High Population | 16th Dec, 2013

deer imageDeer numbers are at their all time high in many parts of the country.  Managing a coppice in one of these areas is hard work and can be extremely frustrating.  Groups like the Deer Initiative are being proactive in educating woodland owners and the public about the issues involved.  The main problem being that deer are a natural ‘prey ’ species without any natural predators. The limiting factor to their population increase is likely to be the available food, and unfortunately that means for  many of us, our woodlands and parks and gardens are coming under increasing pressure from their numbers.

Read more …

December Newsletter 2013 | 04th Dec, 2013

December-cover The December newsletter is here!

We have news of an award from the Royal Forestry Society and a request for woodland owners to respond to a Forestry Commission squirrel survey. Articles include:

The Vigilant – restoring a Thames barge

All I want for Christmas – SWOG members reveal their ideal Christmas gifts

Making hay rakes in Wales – Paul Thornton, Senior Wildlife Officer of the Wildlife Trust of south and west Wales has written a wonderful report on a green wood-working course to make Welsh hay rakes.

Finally, a very merry Christmas to everyone!

Deer Management Course – Plumpton College | 17th Nov, 2013

deer image

Plumpton college are running a Deer Management course over four days between December and February next year.  It is being taught by Jamie Cordery of the ‘Deer Initiative’ .

It covers a lot of ground including.

  • Population dynamics
  • Deer impact assessments
  • Landowners/Deer stalker agreements
  • Landscape scale management
  • Risks and liability
  • Deer economics

For more information and to book a place, download the flyer.

November 2013 Newsletter | 01st Nov, 2013

Nov cover
As the nights draw in, sit back and enjoy the latest SWOG newsletter. With several interesting reports about how owners use their woods and the sustainability of Britain’s woodlands, we also have features on

  • Log cabins for the birds – make a bird box from just one log
  • Our friends in the north – managing a Scottish woodland
  • Learning to make a longbow

Making a Log into a Birdbox | 28th Oct, 2013

2013-10-20 17.39.39There’s nothing more satisfying than making something for the wood from the wood. Anything from a teaspoon to a log cabin can be fashioned from the materials you find growing or lying around.  It keeps our 21st century plastic clutter out of sight and means everything is low impact and will eventually return to where it came from.

Here’s an idea for a log cabin on a slightly smaller scale, one for our feathered friends.

Read more …

See the woods from the trees at Plumpton College | 18th Oct, 2013

flimwellThe Wood Enterprise Centre is hosting a free day of information and advice around the subject of woodfuel on Tuesday 29th October at at Plumpton College at Woodland Enterprise Centre, Flimwell, East Sussex,TN5 7PR.

There will be speakers from the woodfuel industry, and advice on how to apply for grants, as well as demonstrations of  wood fuel and wood chipping machinery.

Places are limited, so please phone  Claire Gammon  01580 879547 or email [email protected]

There is more information on the Plumpton College website here.

Firewood – burning secrets | 17th Oct, 2013

Firewood stacked up to dry showing annual ringsMost woodland owners quickly find that they generate more firewood than they know what to do with. It makes sense, environmentally and economically use it to heat your own home – and maybe that of their neighbours and friends, too.

Read more …

October Newsletter 2013 | 03rd Oct, 2013

cover-octA big welcome to all our new SWOG members!

The October newsletter is available to read or download  here.

This month we have advice from the Forestry Commission about planting to cope with climate change, and news of a Facebook game which will help scientists combat ash dieback (really!) Features include:

  • Horse-logging in the Weald – SWOG member Becky Lupton learns the fine art of shifting logs with horsepower
  • Woodfair round-up
  • Good Woods Project – advice from professional foresters for woodland owners

September Newsletter 2013 | 04th Sep, 2013

Sept coverThe September newsletter is available here.

  • This month Rich discusses effective and efficient firewood management.
  • Sean Harrison of the Surrey Hills AONB explains how expert help can make woodland management a little easier.
  • We also have news of several woodfairs and a discount voucher for the Bentley Woodfair on 21-22 September.

Don’t miss Rich’s pictures of Westonbirt here.

SWOG at Westonbirt | 02nd Sep, 2013


SWOG was once again at the Treefest which is becoming a well attended and established celebration of all things ‘Woodie’.  The event which takes place every year over the August bank holiday at the national arboretum at Westonbirt  attracts exhibitors and the general public  from all over the country.  This year the weather stayed fine for more or less the whole show unlike the deluge of last year, so the numbers of visitors was considerably up on the previous year.    Thank you to all the SWOG members who popped by to say hello and enjoy a cup of tea from the woodstove.  Also a warm welcome to the new members who signed up to the group, we hope to see you at other events coming up and participating in the discussion forum.

Chalara fraxinea — dieback of ash Advisory Note | 07th Aug, 2013


A further update concerning Chalara fraxinea, ash dieback is available from the Forestry Commision.  It includes a warning about trees which may have been imported up to 20 years ago, symptoms and how to report suspected outbreaks.

Download the document here.

August Newsletter 2013 | 01st Aug, 2013

Aug NL coverAs it’s holiday time, the August newsletter includes a couple of family-friendly articles. We hope you enjoy it!

Features this month:

Building rope bridges in the woods new photo library

The Treezilla project – mapping trees throughout the country.

Woodland and forestry training | 29th Jul, 2013

Dowdeswell Forestry Services removing Sycamore from an SSSI near Nailsworth

Rebecca Butler from the Woodland Enterprise Centre at Flimwell has written to us with news of some interesting training courses which can be subsidised by the  Development Programme for England (RDPE).

For more details of any of the courses, please contact her directly at the address below.

Read more …

Good Woods | 18th Jul, 2013

Good Woods – Free Woodland Advice for Landowners and Managers

Today, in England alone, it is estimated that more than 45% of our woodlands are either unmanaged or under-managed.   However the woods in the High and Low Weald have a long history of management stretching back into pre-history. Iconic species, such as dormice & Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterfly are dependent on continued woodland management, such as coppicing. However their numbers have tumbled as widespread management has declined.

Read more …

July Newsletter 2013 | 02nd Jul, 2013

JulycoverThe July newsletter is available for download here.

This month, we have reports from Woodfest Wales and the Chiltern Woodland Conference, Sarah Walters writes about Alvecote Wood’s Royal Forestry Society Award, and Rich Hare recalls the therapeutic nature of woodland work.

We hope you’re enjoying the summer in your woodlands – please let us know all about it!

For those that prefer a lo-res version (1.8mb), click here


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