We will be Sweet Chestnut coppicing in Whatcome Woods this weekend, from Friday 26th until Monday 29th.
Please come along between from 10am until about 3pm if you can to see how we are harvesting this valuable resource. We may well also be clefting it to make posts, rails, palings and laths. There should be a fire burning and a kettle on – bring a spud in tin foil and a mug!
There will also be the chance to help in the building of a brash deer fence to protect the new growth of the chestnut stools over the coming couple of years.
Our coup is Forestry Commission woodland so you’ll have to walk in – it’s about a mile with a couple of small(ish) hills along footpaths, bridleways and forestry tracks. Head for DT11 0AZ (there will be a COPPICING sign to show you the turning) and carry on driving down the track until you reach a large dog-leg curve where there is space for parking. There is a bridleway further down the track on the left that will take you into the woods on foot – the route will be sign posted.
****Please be aware that we will be coppicing some large trees, felling them with chainsaws. Although all of our operatives take the greatest of care it is YOUR responsibility to keep out of harms way, follow all instructions and directions from our employees, be aware that when a chainsaw starts that a tree may be coming down. We cannot and will not be held responsible for any injuries to persons or property howsoever caused.***
So we’ve made a cleft chestnut rustic garden gate for a fencing contractor. It’s been a while and is good to get back into the swing again.
I started yesterday with a log of chestnut that we’d harvested from our coppice in the heart of Dorset. This I cleaved (split down the grain) for the stiles and rails. The rails are morticed into the stiles and fixed with cleft oak pegs. The diagonal brace was cleft from a bent log so it can bend round the rails and blind-morticed into the stiles for extra strength.
Sweet Chestnut is an incredibly resilient hardwood and this gate should last for many, many years with little or no maintenance.
Artisan Gardening will make your garden gates to order to suit your requirements. The gates are made from Sweet Chesnut that is cleft to size using traditional tools and methods. The gates are made using no metal fixings save the occasional brass screw.
Sweet chestnut fencing raw materials coppiced and brought home. Most of it was cut to 8ft posts and collected by our first chestnut customer, he was reet happy! And we’ve got a nice curvy piece (or three) to play with making gates or furniture…
Rather a tricky build on the side of a hill but we nailed (and screwed) it! Cleft chestnut fence, Douglas Fir structural timbers, cedar deck and step treads. Finishing touches to be done on Monday.
…well nearly. Two more panels and some finishing touches to go. And some planting of plants!