A lone ash at Notgrove – How long will we be able to enjoy it?
In October and November some Tree Wardens joined in events held by the Royal Forestry Society.
The first was a visit to Notgrove, where our own Mike Hartnell joined owner, Harry Acland to show us round the estate. After losing a herd of cattle to tuberculosis, the family had fewer livestock. Harry felt it was time to diversify and has developed village cottages and converted barns to promote a good holiday business. The woodland, for many years unattended, is being with Mike’s help, tidied, thinned and brought back to use as a crop. Installing a biomass burner has provided an excellent way to use the thinnings and there is a substantial market for logs and kindling by both the holiday properties and local residents. At present none of the wood needs to leave the village. It was a most interesting tour showing us how being adaptable can help an estate to thrive.
In November the event was one set up with students in mind as around 40 students from the Royal Agricultural University and Pershore College. Our visit on the Bathurst Estate near Hailey Wood Sawmill was to consider the sale and marketing of timber. Senior Lecturer and RFS committee member, David Lewis joined Bathurst Estate Head Forester, Keith Mills to explain the whys and wherefores around this key element of forestry management. Visiting parcels of woodland of Norway spruce, Beech and Oak, plus cut timber, we heard what uses the different woods are put to and the pitfalls around growing, thinning and selling the final product for the best economic return. As daylight dimmed, we moved across to the RAU where facilities were kindly provided for tea or coffee to accompany cakes provided by our Co-ordinator.