PEP tangles - my Zentangle Inspired Art blog

Friday, 12 April 2013

Woodland Management Part 2

Thank you for all your kind comments on my last post - I'd not realized it would create so much interest.

the plateau at the top of our first bank leading
up to the second bank's steps & the perimeter fence

In my previous post I briefly mentioned the birdlife we have in our garden. We often hear an owl & even a few Mallard ducks have been known to find their way (a considerable detour from the Brecon Canal) onto our lawn. Treecreepers & Nuthatches are regular visitors as are Wrens & Titmice (Great, Blue, Coal & Longtailed). Often a Robin will come to see what we're doing & during the hard winters the Blackbirds will come & wait expectantly for food which we put out. I've also glimpsed a Greater Spotted Woodpecker & the odd Goldfinch. Various members of the Crow family, including Jays, are also in evidence. An intriguing feature we discovered just at the top of the steps (where the ground starts to level into a small plateau) is an 'anvil' stone which some of the birds use to crack open snail shells - we've seen them do this on our stone terracing.

the 'anvil' stone with the tell-tale snail shell remains to the right
(about half way between the stone & the photo's edge - click to enlarge)
close-up of the snail shell remains

The hand rail was in a rather sorry state but my husband managed to find the various parts of it scattered amongst the brambles. After reassembling, sanding & treating with preservative plus wood stain it now provides something very solid to grasp whilst ascending the bank approaching our steps leading up to the gate & perimeter fence.

the approach to the perimeter fence - this was taken prior to
staining the rail & before we'd started repairing the steps
the hand rail after painting with wood stain

We didn't have to replace all of the uprights or posts but those that were sound we stabilized & treated with wood preservative plus wood stain. We also built up the earth so as to make the 'treads' more solid. 


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Woodland Management Part 1

As some of you know my husband & I live in a bungalow built into the hillside overlooking Brecon. The hill is actually an old hill fort - Slwch Tump - which is now mostly woodland & grazing for sheep accessed via a Public Footpath which runs along the topmost perimeter of our garden. Our garden, as you can see from the photographs, consists of both woodland & lawn. We keep the woodland in a semi-managed state allowing access to a gate which opens onto the Footpath but at the same time encouraging wildlife. I recently saw a Redwing & over the weekend my husband was surprised to find a Buzzard settling onto a branch about 15 feet above his head as he was gathering the tools for repairing our wooden steps.

The photo on the left was taken with my back towards our perimeter fence looking down onto the bungalow. I reversed the positions & took the photo to the right with my back against the window visible in the first photo looking up over 3 tiers of terracing into the woodland where I was standing for the first photo.

During some earlier dry & snow-free weather my husband managed to clear all the brambles etc... which had grown over the handrail & wooden steps leading up to the gate. The steps & the rail itself were in need of repair so that is what we have been working on now that the snow has thawed. We started with the steps leading into the woodland from the lawn but had to evict a couple of dozen lodgers who had made nests between the bank & rotting wood.


one of the rotten wood uprights removed

to the left is the sight that met us as we removed the wooden upright & to the right is a close-up of some of the inhabitants

a new upright cut, sealed with preservative & screwed into
posts dug in at either side AFTER evicting the slugs
the completed steps after painting with wood stain
In my next post I'll show some photos taken after we'd finished repairing the top section of steps leading to our gate which opens onto the Public Footpath.