Student Gerry joins volunteers for felling and fire

On Monday, myself and fellow students Josh and Sean were taken to Southwood woodland. Ben and Sarah were felling birch trees, and our job was to tidy up after them. After being given strict fire-lighting instructions by Stuart (and after one false start), we got a fire going and we could get started. We put any brash and tree branches that were too small to go onto the log pile onto the fire. The most exciting part of the day for me was when Sarah taught us how to fell a small tree, using just a bow-saw!

On Tuesday, we met up with 17 volunteers at Hawley meadows, a great turn out for a frosty cold day. The aim of the day was to clear old brash and old logs from a fenced scrub area. Surprisingly, I was put in charge of the fire! My fire-making skills being quite limited, this was a little daunting at first but all the volunteers were very knowledgeable and we kept the fire roaring all day with a steady flow of brash and brambles. By the end of the day the path was looking very tidy and clear.
Southwood Gerry tree felling Southwood Gerry tree hinge

Student Gerry


About blackwatervalleycountryside

The Blackwater Valley is located on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire and runs for approximately 30km from the source near Aldershot, northwards to Swallowfield. At its confluence it joins the rivers Whitewater and Loddon. The Loddon eventually flows into the River Thames near Reading. Work in the Blackwater Valley is co-ordinated by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership on behalf of the local authorities that border the Valley. Despite being surrounded by urban development the Valley provides an important green corridor for local residents As well as the Blackwater Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a small part of the Basingstoke Canal SSSI, three nature reserves within the Valley catchment and many other areas have been recognised for their ecological importance. The local planning authorities covering the Valley have designated 31 other areas as ‘Wildlife Sites’.
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