Coppicing at One Tree Hill

Richard mentioned in his last post some upcoming work at One Tree Hill, near Sevenoaks.  Well, we’ve taken a short break from hands on work at Petts Wood and been busy at One Tree Hill with the volunteers for the last week or so.  It isn’t one of the properties that we usually work at, but sits within the portfolio that our wider ranger team look after.  For the last few months we’ve been gearing up towards a spring/summer project at another of our properties, the scheduled ancient monument at Coldrum Long Barrow.  We will be replacing the timber fence that encircles the tomb, and have been trying to source the sweet chestnut fencing material.  Having failed in our search for a decent supplier, we decided to source our own chestnut from one of our woodlands, hence One Tree Hill coming in to the picture.  There exists a single patch of sweet chestnut there that happened to be the correct age and size for our requirements.  Added to which, the patch was overdue for coppicing anyway, so we had found our material.  Only problem was we had to fell the trees, burn up the lop and top, cut the stems to length and transport them back to Petts Wood.  After an enjoyable few days we’ve accomplished all this with the help of other rangers in the team and our trusty volunteers.

OTH chestnut

OTH coppicing

The fence we erect at Coldrum will be a post and rail variety, with both the posts and rails being ‘in the round’.  So luckily no cleaving of the material is needed  but we do need to peel the bark off.  A time consuming process so cue more help from the volunteers in coming weeks….we’ll post more pictures of this as we go.




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