Stara woodsAt this time of year there is a window of opportunity when the weather starts to warm up but before the birds start nesting. At this Stara Bee we were able to don (with apologies to those who don’t remember Monty Python) “our suspendies and bras“ and become lumberjacks for the day! (I’m spending too long with that panto crew!!!)

But lumberjacking without chain saws is a very different proposition! We wanted to clear out the self-seeded fir trees from the section of Colquite Wood between the two paths but as we set to we realised that some of the smaller trees were actually pretty big, only seeming small when compared to the massive Douglas stands. With the best will in the word, our small hand tools took ages to cut through one stem and even then there was a problem – they are all so tightly grouped and tall than getting one to fall with a triumphant yell of “timber” just isn’t reality – all the other trees (including the broadleaf varieties we want to preserve) just hold up the sawn tree – one even hung there with no visible connection to ground.

So after much effort we got 2 or 3 larger ones down but then decided to give in gracefully and focus on much smaller stuff, of which there was plenty. Even before our break we had built up quite a pile of brash which has now been distributed along the side of the middle path to rot down and create more compost for the future broadleaf woodland for which we are aiming.

Speaking of that, it is interesting that as we negotiated the steep bank looking for the next victim we saw moss clad stumps all around from previous generations of timber – presumably felled 100 plus years ago to make way for the Douglas. I even found one through which an ambitious holly tree had grow up – maybe there was a ready supply of nutrients to feed the young holly berry hidden there by a blackbird? The romantic side of my brain likes to think these stumps were majestic oak and beech and one day we will see their like again if we just keep working at it – now why should that seem like I’m once again asking for more volunteers – I cant imagine where you got that idea from…. but then ……

Next Stara Bee will be Saturday 4th March at 10.00 … we’ll meet in the car park de da de da!!! See you there