Month: March 2016

  • Plant spotlight: ARUM MACULATUM/Cuckoopint

    Chances are you’ll have seen this common wild hedgerow and woodland edge plant about.  In April, its ghostly phallic flower sheath of white about a long pollinating part, giving off a whiff of urine to attract flies.  In autumn bright orange red berries bunched on a stem.   ‘Maculatum’ means ‘spotted’ as its shiny deep […]

  • book review: The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy

    What I love about Hardy’s classic is that you end up accidentally gaining knowledge on woodsmanship activities through reading the romantic fiction, set in ‘Little Hintock’ hundreds of years ago. We meet Marty South making ‘spar gads’ for thatching, by smoky candlelight; we witness Melbury’s wood yard where waggons are laden with ‘ash-poles, sheep hurdles […]

  • World of Bushcraft, Bedford

    Shamefully, got into a spot of retail therapy after long suffering mate Sara drove me and my infant to World of Bushcraft last Sat, and ended up forking out £42 for a leather Crocodile Dundee style hat, also a greenwood carving blade (Mora) and two back copies of ‘Bushcraft’ magazine.  Observed the crazy prices Woodland […]

  • Birch tap – just like giving blood…

    My first ever birch tapping session with friend and baby in a quiet wood atop a hill, a feral place with the remains of a small polite fire showing others had used this space for another illicit communion with nature. I say illicit because it is very difficult to find anywhere that will give permission […]

  • Ronnie Sunshines

    Last Sat trekked with Marty squirming in pram to abovementioned  bushcraft supplies and gun shop.  There were a lot more guns than other bushcraft items, however two very helpful gentlemen argued over the finer points of how to show me how to sharpen a Scandi grind Condor knife (and one showed me pictures of his […]

  • Manna from Pine

    Have noticed some lovely flowers on the pines at my local lake, they arent mature yet ( you need to wait until the male parts are extended (ahem, blush) and they shower yellow dust everywhere (corr ;)) ok, thats enough now, this is a serious blog.  But they are chock full of testosterone and excellent […]

  • Birchbark…what actually happened

    After procrastinating for ages over where to get birch bark without shamefully nicking it off trees at the local nature reserve (am already in their bad books for putting up a hazelpole bender for local kids to get drunk and light fires in), i realised that the wood dumped on my boat roof  several months […]

  • Birchbark containers…what they’re supposed to look like