17th June

Last week we continued with preparing wood for charcoal burning, as there’s plenty of demand for our charcoal. Chris was on site early as usual to start the charcoal burners. Work began on repairing the jetty and more non-slip strips have been ordered. Last year’s saplings were checked and bracken cleared from them so they get the best chance of thriving. The weather has contributed to the growth spurt all around and we had to take a scythe to the long grass that was beginning to take over the paths.

Construction of the shelter continued, with a positively medieval feel to the building techniques and to the appearance of the shelter. Who knows – we may get a gothic arch?

Update from Jackie on the new bench by the redwood which has been purchased by Canal & River Trust from the winnings received when the tree was a runner up in the Welsh Tree of the Year 2017:  Kevin Philips has asked Eric to come up with some words on the plaque which will go on the bench.  


We will now be starting at 9.30 for anyone who wishes to come along earlier and leave earlier as we all suffer from overheating when the sun comes out down at the woodland because it is so sheltered.  This Tuesday we’ll have visitors, including Darren and a colleague who will be having training on the splitter, and CRT Gilwern Volunteers who will be joining us to help out cutting back the bracken.  

Here is the workplan:-

  1. Bracken cutting with CRT volunteers and check trees
  2. Splitter joining us and training to be given to hirer Darren
  3. Continue to repair the jetty
  4. Charcoal burn & sift – Lots of customers waiting for charcoal
  5. Get shave horses out and re-stock labels etc.
  6. Shelter construction continues – all hands needed to get the roof on!!
  7. Someone to put out the LCW sign in the pod on a pole by jetty.

Not on the work plan but still to do will be checking the bees.  Bob and Jackie will be at the woodland at 9.30 to do this before the day gets too hot

Environmental notes

There’s plenty of wild angelica blooming around the stream and the first of the common spotted orchids are appearing. We’re still on the lookout for nesting birds and slow-worms.


Early summer

Well, the weather forecast last week was on the mark. We had a warm, sunny day and did plenty of work! Wood was moved, processed and stacked, apple trees were watered and some bracken removed from around last years saplings.

We should have been holding our AGM this coming week but due to unforeseen circumstances has had to be cancelled. The plan now is to hold the AGM in July, when we will celebrate summer with a curry! 

It means a lot to us that other people enjoy the bounty of the woodland so we’re really pleased that Peak – Art in the Black Mountains (formerly known as Arts Alive) are hoping to come into the woodlands soon for an artists’ work day, and that Llangattock Primary School should be having their annual Eco Club picnic before the summer term ends. Also we’ll be having a stall in CRiC for a summer fayre in July, when we’ll be providing information and selling some of our handcrafted goods.

This week we have a variety of tasks on the workplan, as usual:

  1. Process the remaining logs
  2. Prepare the jetty for repair
  3. Trim the paths with scythe
  4. Charcoal burn & sift – there are lots of customers waiting for charcoal
  5. Continue the shelter construction – all hands needed to get the props up.
  6. Make more plant labels, hedgehog boxes and develop other craft ideas
  7. Someone to put out the LCW sign in the pod on a pole by jetty.
  8. Check out trees from last year and take off plastic covers where appropriate



Environmental Notes:

There’s such a summer feel in the meadow and wood now. Nesting blue tits have been spotted in one of the bird boxes by the canal and we’re looking forward to making more boxes for birds, including owls. The hedgehog huts were a great success last year, several of them were occupied. It might be time to start looking for slow worms too.

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The first week of June



Over the last few weeks we’ve been getting on with wood processing and the sale of the firewood should keep us sustainable again for another year.  Bob is putting finishing touches to the Bee Palace this week so we can open our viewing platform to visitors over the summer.  

Great news is that the Natural Weigh shop in Crickhowell have agreed to sell our charcoal. Hopefully this will be a steady outlet for sales, as well as good publicity for the group. 

You never can tell, but so far the weather forecast looks kind to us for this coming Tuesday. There’s lots to do:-

  1. Water the new apple trees.
  2. Move the remaining logs from the canal side to the processing area 
  3. Process logs and stack 
  4. Cut up small diameter wood for charcoal burn 
  5. Shelter construction continues – all hands needed to get the props up, roof looking great
  6. Check out trees planted last year. Clear area around trees and take off plastic covers where appropriate

And finally, it’s goodbye to the bluebells – see you next spring!