Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean


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24, 17 and 3 April 2012 & 1 May 2012

Wyeside Woods

Grid Ref ST553984


This area, a 100 years ago was coppiced regularly for charcoal timber and woodland bodging needs (mainly hazel). It has been largely abandoned for many years until now when it has been clear felled. It is hoped that the hazel will recoppice so we need to keep the deer out until it has a couple of years to establish itself. We were building what is known as a dead hedge.

1 May 2012

On one of the wettest days of the year it was time to burn off as much of the brush as we could. Amazingly, our intrepid fire lighting chaps soon got the fire going and burning brightly. We also used some brush to cover up the stumps of the coppiced hazel so that it would deter the deer from nibbling as the young new growth.






The fire burning well!





Throwing larger old logs on the fire.


24 April 2012

The wicker fencing construction is now showing signs of completion. This job is really relaxing and is something anyone can do as long as there is not someone trying to be a perfectionist! Some of us went for a walk to see the changes made around Devils Pulpit which is on the Offas Dyke Path about a mile from our site. The path at Devils Pulpit has been relaid and strengthened with large rocks to prevent subsidence. The view across to Tintern Abbey has been cleared to embrace a panoramic scene.






The weaving continues after the stakes have been hammered in. One of our team used his billhook to sharpen the end of the stakes before they were hammered in.





Both flimsy and stouter branches were used for the weaving to make a strong barrier against the deer. Unfortunately, one of the team told us a story about seeing a muntjac deer jumping over his garden gate - let's hope they only try jumping this fence once!







The fence along the top of the enclosure is now complete.

17 April 2012

The wicker fencing continues. Posts made from the cut branches and sharpened at one end were rammed into the ground at about a foot apart. Spindly branches were then intertwined between the posts and pushed down to make an impenetrable fence. There were 19 of us there this day and we completed about 150 yards of the fence. More to come........






At least it was a sunny day!

The fence here is only half completed so we spaced ourselves along it to fill in the gaps.






Progress is being made.

Some of the larger trees which are still inside the coppiced enclosure will soon be removed by contractors.







Poor old Harley has had enough for one day!

3 April 2012


The site this week was changed at the last minute from the Bearse because the forest ranger had spotted three goshawk nests in the area we were going to be at and we did not want to disturb them, so we moved to Wyeside Woods.






The area we wish to enclose is edged by posts hammered into the ground at about 18 inch spacings. Height about 5 foot. Previously cut wood and coppicings are then woven through the posts hammered tightly to the ground (tight enough to keep a muntjac out) at an angle and woven tight at the top like in hedgelaying. The required lifespan of the hedge is only 3 - 4 years.

Clever people put a door in, otherwise you can't get out!.






Why won't the pesky deer jump over our barracade?

When confronted by a semi solid barrier like ours when we finish, deer will tend to walk along it to find an easy way in. As ours is a relatively small area compared to the amount coppiced, the deer will wander off to easier pickings rather than try to break in or jump over

That is the plan!







Larger trees have been left standing to provide shade in the glade.


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