What’s with the woods?

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A few trees and lots of grass

In the 1980s a youthful Gavin liked playing in the woods. A few years ago I realised that I wasn’t playing in the woods as much as I used to. I wondered if I could have a wood of my own to play in. There’s plenty of nice woods for sale on Exmoor or in Wales or Scotland, but not many within a sensible cycling distance from home in Bristol. After a little research I decided to grow my own.

How to dig a pond in a weekend

How to dig a pond in a weekend

I bought a field early in 2014 and managed to plant a few trees  and a hedge before the end of the winter planting season. The rest of 2014 was spent planning, exploring, camping, cooking on fires, digging ponds and creating a tree nursery (which produced more pumpkins and potatoes than trees in it’s first season). In December I took ownership of several thousand trees to plant out before the end of March. I’ve got plenty more plans after that.

How it looked a year ago

How it looked a year ago

The land measures 10 acres (for the metric amongst us that’s about 130m by 300m). It’s a south facing slope (not steep) with a gate at the top and a stream at the bottom. About a fifth of the field was planted with trees about 15 years ago, the rest was pasture which had been mowed for hay in the years before I bought it.

The field (it doesn’t have a name yet) is on the edge of Upton Cheyney, a village between Bristol and Bath. It’s very accessible by bike, being about a mile from the Bristol-Bath railway path. I really really like it. In case anybody wondered, I’m never planning to live there –  love where I live now, and I wouldn’t be able to build a house in the field (which is good – it’s for woods not for houses).

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