Small Woodland Owners' Group

Hello from West Sussex

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Hello from West Sussex

Postby outeredge » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:36 pm

Hi Everyone,

New small wood owner here from West Sussex (completed two weeks ago), have been following the forum with great interest and appreciation for some months now whilst I went through the process of buying my wood. I feel like I know some of you already having never spoken!

To be blunt last year was pretty rubbish for me and having come through the worst of it early this year I decided that life is too short to keep saving money up and doing nothing with it (or putting it into boring property). I've always had a fascination with the beauty and peacefulness of our woods, having grown up in the South Downs and now returned here I have fond memories of spending my childhood amongst the bracken. A quick look online, not with the intention of buying and within a few days I had put an offer in!

Faith Wood is just under 5 acres of scots pine, mixed in with some oaks, silver birch, hazel, plenty of rhododendron foxgloves and er chestnut (i think, I am a complete newbie to tree identification and haven't had a chance to get a book out yet). I spent the first two weeks just wandering around and found myself staring and taking in every little inch, I honestly couldn't believe how much it changed between putting my offer in and completing. I've seen quite a few deer too. It's without a doubt one of the best decisions I've ever made :D . This weekend I'm just sorting out the muddy disaster of an entrance with 3 tonnes of hardcore, hopefully it will work as i've never done anything of this scale before.

I was also wondering if anyone nearby would be interested in coming for a wander round with me and perhaps offering some advice and ideas, I'd love to get to know some of you in person!



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Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 5:20 am

Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby outeredge » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:40 pm

Congrats on your wood Outeredge and your excellent choice of brushcutter. The boy shows promise. Must remember to ask Husky for my sales commission. :D Folding saws fit neatly in a pocket and are useful to casually carry round in a pocket to accurately prune small side branches or if cutting walking sticks or poles. They are good in confined spaces. The Bahco Laplander is only about £15. Canterbury forks are great for bringing down behind a bramble root and then pulling it straight out. Looking at your pics and the pines and rhodos and bracken I'd guess you've got a degree of acidic soil, maybe sandy or peaty? That isnt necessarily a bad thing at all but something to bear in mind as to what'll do best there. There are mixed views on Rhodos, they're pretty and good firewood, but often seen as invasive and tricky to get shot of. Being evergreen they suppress native ground flora. Love birch trees. Welcome aboard.

Thanks for the welcome oldclaypaws! Underneath the soil is silty clay (I found some absolutely fascinating borehole records online taken from all over my land in the 90's that confirms this), there is many years of pine needs and dead bracken on top too which seems to have created a rich topsoil. What do you reckon would do best here on that basis, as manuel would say "I know nothing"!

Love birch trees too, one of my favourites, I love the smell of the pines too. I am concerned however about the rhodos - I don't mind a few but they are starting to invade more and more, I would guess even more so since it was felled 1 or 2 yrs before I bought it? The adjacent wood is chocka with the stuff (the photos here show the most heavily "invaded" part so not all like this)
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 5:20 am

Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby oldclaypaws » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:02 pm

Silty clay could be slightly acid, it which case most good stuff will grow well on it. You can get a Ph test kit cheaply from most garden centres. I'd say the thing that's most likely to spontaneously spring up and thrive on Sussex silty clay sites are fracking rigs. Lol. Seriously, watch it for a season and see what comes up, also observe what appears to be doing well in other nearby woods. What'll do best there will naturally regenerate to a degree. Unfortunately. you don't really want that to be Rhodos and bracken- both are invasive. Think you might end up buying quite a bit of glyphospate. I could tell your ground had likely recently been disturbed by the foxgloves- they are a classic species that appears after thinning and disturbance, Birch is also a pioneer species that crops up after thinning, its nice though- good fuel and good for wildlife. Scots Pine are cool, nice native conifer. Get shot of the invasives, allow a bit of natural regeneration and a mix of other suitable natives, should be fine. Above all, enjoy it, observe and take on board as many opinions as possible before slowly starting to form plans. What matters most is its your wood and its up to you to decide what you'd like to do.
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Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby smojo » Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:49 am

Hi - just found your posts and wanted to say hello as I'm just about to get my wood too. Have a few things in common I think. Similar story - stressful last five years, stuff that would make good storylines for Corrie. Retired, some savings doing bugger all in banks I don't trust anymore. Life too short not to follow your dreams if you have the means to it. On my own with this though (wife reluctantly but kindly conceded to me buying the wood but has no interest in getting involved.) Wish you were nearer to Yorkshire, would love to have visited your wood and chewed the fat about it all - swapped ideas etc. My name's David too. Keep us informed of your progress. Cheers
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Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:47 pm

Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby Lincswood » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:35 am

Welcome to the forum, sounds like you'll fit right in and be welcomed as much as all of us relative newbies have been!
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:41 am

Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby outeredge » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:31 pm

oldclaypaws wrote:I'd say the thing that's most likely to spontaneously spring up and thrive on Sussex silty clay sites are fracking rigs.

Shh! That or a bypass but I will say no more so as not to tempt fate.

oldclaypaws wrote:Think you might end up buying quite a bit of glyphospate.

Can I not just set the brushcutter to them for a few years? p.s. good call on the foxgloves, I have hundreds with so many different species of bees all over them - no need to kill them too I hope, they look gorgeous.

smojo wrote:Have a few things in common I think.

Nice to meet you David, we definitely do, I am 28 and run a web development business. I had a kidney transplant eight years ago and guess I generally see life as shorter than most around me, it's hard to believe how much life throws at you sometimes. Anyway, I've always been able to get on better with the older (and wiser) than those my age, if you are ever down south then give me a shout, I'd love to show you around.
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 5:20 am

Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby dredger99 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:06 pm

Your wood looks lovely outeredge.
A big :D welcome to you.
I'm up north in intermittently sunny Aberdeen :) so quite a distance from yourself but if ever you are up this way then give me a shout.

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Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:33 pm

Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby TerryH » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:00 pm

Hi David,
Nice to have you on board. I almost said "howdy neighbour" as I am in W Sussex but actually up the other end of the A24 near Horsham/Gatwick.. still it's not that far.
Most likely thing to spring up and thrive in my neck of the woods is a new runway and flight path . Right over the top of my fecking wood too .. it's a crowded world though and we can't have everything how we want it. I generally get three minutes peace and quiet followed by "wooooooosh" every fourth minute ! But no, the picture's not as bad as I paint it really.
Anyway , your wood looks really nice . not sure about those rhododendrons though. We've had a lot of goosegrass/cleavers this year and I really need to sort out the brambles too..

100% agree about the savings in the bank thing and glad you didn't sink it into the UK property ponzi because that is just what 'they' want you to do. Good man!

Enjoy your wood. Will try and look at your 'mapping' post when I get some more time to spare. Working like a donkey at the moment :(

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Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:23 pm
Location: Surrey/West Sussex

Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby The Barrowers » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:16 pm

Hello We are in East Sussex, East Grinstead 30 mins away so not a million miles away

Happy to meet at some stage in future when we are in woods

B and T
B and T
The Barrowers
The Barrowers
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Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:51 pm

Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby Lenny » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:45 pm

Hiya, I'd love to come over and meet you and your woods!! You've posted a few things on my thread about the community tree project, email me if you like about when's good for you, or just carry on your thread, either way it'll be nice to meet.
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