Hi NH,

Like Toivo I have spent this last week in the woodland cutting a half kilometer's worth of 10 years regrowth on a pollarded hazel hedge. This has yielded hundreds of beatifully straight and clear stems that would be ideal for making thatching spars, liggers etc but I fear that most of this will simply be left in the woodland to rot down due to the difficulties of marketing same. This is a big problem for woodlot owners in England and has come about due to the gradual fragmentation in the woodland management and produce useage chain. Instead of the primary use of woodland being for timber production this now seems to be very much more perceived to be a visual amenity and nature conservation areas for bobble hatted hikers to tramp through to satisfy their wanderlust.

Whilst cutting my hedge I have been eyeing up a block of 50 year old Douglas Fir, underplanted western red cedar, and have been toying with clear felling this block. It would be so much better if I could fell and convert on the spot but then we are back to the same dilemma as the hazel - without a predetermined use or buyer for same agreed then this would potentially just rot away as well. Having cut and converted logs then these would need to be moved to a stack to allow for replanting the cut over block. Every operation in the woodland requires investment of either time or money and generally both so it can be cheaper just to do nothing and allow the timber to keep growing.

What I really need is a local Jack Sobon type who would be happy to come and cut / hew or mobile mill convert wood for free, which he or she could keep thereby allowing me to pursue my woodlot management objectives of returning this back to the growth of native deciduous trees (oak, ash, cherry, etc.)

This would therefore be a win win scenario for both of us but I doubt that it will ever happen.

Ideas please ?


Ken Hume

Looking back to see the way ahead !