Following on from last weekends brilliant otter holt construction with Cardiff Trail Scrubs using material thinned out from the reserve, I decided on a little me time. Firstly, I want to make sure that the wood cut down on the reserve is used to benefit the reserve. So we hope to perform any felling in stages and use the wood when needed.
Over the last few years, we have been really successful with our willow coppicing and revetment works and I keep building temporary mangers from willow to stack the willow ready to be bundled up. I decided with all the timber we had, I would make a Kentish notch device, an old tool made from wood and loops of cord or wire, which allows bundles to be stacked and tied with just one person. So, to do this I made some stakes, this involved getting my side axe out of spring, summer and autumn hibernation to spike them.
|My old side axe back out in daylight|
|The posts knocked into the ground and wires looped between adjacent posts|
|some brush from last year as a tester|
I returned then to the harvested wood area and collected a few pieces of ash. One section I clove to create two signposts and to a longer section with a slight curve in one end, I clove it and created two similar handles to complete the Kentish notch.
I shaved down the sides to a reasonably smooth finish for the signs. Following this, I permanent markered some information and added a liberal coating of oil. In hindsight, I should have waited and borrowed a pyrography kit. Anyway, you live and learn (but then rather frustratingly you forget).
I was tempted to do it all properly with wood, but ran out of time, so drilled and nailed with aluminium clout nails (these bend if you just look at them with a mildly aggressive frown).
I wandered over to the willow coppice area, knocked in another post into ground which can be best described as homoeopathy levels of soil in water. As a result, I had to knock the post deeper into the ground than I was expecting, so had to cut the top of the post at an angle and attached the Kentish Notch Device sign.
|Sign for the Kentish Notch device made from freshly split green ash wood|
|Woodsman's grips work well on this tiny bundle|