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A Fresh Start

1st of March 2014

By the time you read this, with a bit of luck, my tree felling licence for the Christmas tree patch should have been granted. It’s been a complicated process; I could not have got this far without the help of the Chiltern Woodlands Project, a charity set up to help owners of small woodlands in the Chilterns to manage and care for their woods. Once I have the paperwork a man with a really clever harvesting machine will come and cut the trees down. It only takes 2 seconds to cut one down, disbranch it and cut it to the required lengths! Oh, and it counts how many usable lengths it got and how thick they were. How clever is that?

My late husband, David, planted the trees sometime between the late 1950s and the mid-1960s. His brother, Peter, was supposed to look after them so that the trees would make Peter and his Mum a bit of extra cash at Christmas. David worked in the aircraft industry at the time and would dig up a trailer load of trees at the weekend and then sell them in the car park at lunch time where ever he was working. People from the village would also call round and pick one. When all the ‘nice’ ones had gone the rest were left to grow. Now they are well past their best and, in this winter’s, storms quite a few have blown down. They will all have a use: fence posts for the best, firewood, or bio-fuel for firing bricks for the worst.

Then the good bit begins and I can, under the terms of my licence, replant. The mixture will be all deciduous trees, including hazel, oak, cherry, birch, and small leaved lime. I will have to “protect them from damage and adequately weed them in accordance with good forestry practice for the next ten years. It will be a fresh start for an area that has looked less than lovely for quite a while.

I hope it will not cause too much disruption to people using the footpath or to my neighbours, but I am sure it will be better for wildlife and everyone else when it’s done. It’s going to keep me out of mischief for a while, that’s for sure!
Wendy Bathurst

This page is edited by Tony

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