Calm before the storm

We now say goodbye and thank-you very much to Alex.  Alex has been with us as a full-time volunteer in the woods, giving us a hand and gaining experience for a career in forestry.  He has now returned to university to complete the final year of his degree.  More from Alex here – http://beta.nationaltrust.org.uk/home/view-page/item471548/292150/

We will shortly be recruiting a new woodland volunteer, so keep your eyes open if this is your sort of thing.

September was mostly a month of holidays and odd little jobs as members of the woodlands team took (well deserved) holidays.  One of those odd jobs has been to build tree guards around oak trees that we have planted on the Coach Road that runs along the Tarell Valley.  Although the Coach Road isn’t grazed, the trees have somewhat suffered the browsing of stock that are on the move between fields.  The guards will help protect the trees from opportunist grazers until they are big enough to be un-tasty and the guards can be removed.

Elsewhere we have been reducing vegetation.  A much needed visit to the Skirrid to cut the grass growing up through the rides has opened up access again to the circular walk around the site.

This year our annual staff and volunteers outing headed to the Brockhampton estate – http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-brockhampton/ or the new beta site – http://beta.nationaltrust.org.uk/brockhampton-estate
A nice stroll took us through the parkland and woodland, before getting a chance to look in at Lower Brockhampton.  Fantastic timber structures make up this house surrounded by a damson orchard and an exhibit of an early chainsaw – think we’ll stick with our modern ones.

The start of October has seen us assist with filming on the Sugar Loaf which you may have seen more of on our Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/NTBreconBeacons

On with the real work though and we are back into felling.  We are now working at Pont-ar-Daf, currently on a thinning project but there are greater plans ahead…

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It’s hotting up

As you may have read last time, we were just embarking on fencing some of the dingles, the little wooded valleys, on our farms in the Tarell Valley.  In this time we have had some good wildlife sightings, incuding kingfishers on the river, lizards in old walls, frogs under rocks and this moth.  Although it may not be an amazing rare find, it was still impressive .  This night flyer was brushed from its perch as we fenced and spent the rest of the day on the tractor.

As part of our fencing work we have been replacing some of the stiles on the Tarell Valley walk with kissing gates.  Our most recent batch of gates has been made by Year 9 pupils from Ysgol Maesydderwen in Ystradgynlais.  The students built them as part of an industry day to experience the activities of a countryside warden.

August is now looking busy for the woodlands team as we pack-up and move to the Gower to help the property team down there prepare for the building of the new Lodge at Cwm Ivy.  We’ll be taking our specialist machinery to help deal with the handling of large trees.  Hopefully we’ll get you some pictures, but for now, here is the Gower blog page with more on the Lodge.

http://gowernt.wordpress.com/

And finally, to top it all off, we are making preparations to our Garden Take-away that will be appearing at this years Green Man Festival in the Brecon Beacons.  The festival is from the 18th-22nd August.  It’s all sold –out now, but if you managed to get tickets, come say hello and find out just what it is that we are serving up.

The woodland team.