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A day in the woods

November 12th 2017

 

As a result of a generous grant of £10,000 from the Postcode Local Trust, KWES Kent Woodland Employment Scheme arranged “A Day in the Woods” on Tuesday, October 24th for both children and adults at Holly Hill wood near Birling in Kent.

The grant from the Postcode Local Lottery, awarded earlier this year will fundrepairs to footpaths, way marking signs, the creation of glades in the woodland, and pay for training for volunteers on working days as well as events and activities for local residents and school children.

More than fifteen primary school children enjoyed the day thanks to the joint educational project run by the Kent Woodland Employment Scheme (KWES) and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council.

The children learned how to build a woodland den, cook sweet chestnuts, make pine cone bird feeders and see how wooden poles for way-marking were made. KWES foresters demonstrated how trees are coppiced and created a glade in part of the wood to let light in to improve the woodland habitat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Borough Council’s Ranger team helped the children to learn more about the woodland habitat and the plants and creatures that live there.

The beautiful ancient woodland at Holly Hill owned by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council will soon begin to benefit from the work KWES does under a Forestry Commission approved Woodland Management Plan. Coppicing lets light and air into the forest floor ensuring the trees continue to re-grow and provide suitable habitats for both plant and wildlife. KWES and the Borough Council want to encourage more visitors and volunteers, especially school children to help look after the wood so it was decided to hold an event during the half term school holiday to show just what fun working in a woodland can be and how much can be learnt as well.

KMTV, the county’s first dedicated television channel created by the KM Media Group and the University of Kent was also on hand to see and film everyone at work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Felling a 100 foot Tree

This picture shows the skills needed to be an expert forester.

A beautiful one hundred foot ash growing beside a tiny country lane in Kent had to be felled. It wasn’t the dreaded ash dieback that sealed its fate but merely old age.

Two large limbs from the tree suddenly fell one Sunday afternoon, blocking the road, but luckily not causing harm to anyone or damage. An inspection showed that the trunk was almost totally hollow and meant the tree was in danger of shedding or limbs or even falling at any time. The road had to be closed for a full day while our expert foresters worked to cut the limbs one by one onto the road – pretty scary to look at – until there was only a bare trunk left that fell exactly where it was planned to go. It’s amazing what skills an expert forester has!