Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wild Penwith volunteers.

By arrangement with Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the Wild Penwith volunteer group spent Tuesday 22nd November at Bosavern Community Farm, helping us to cut back brambles around the vegetable field so as to re-discover and repair the rabbit-fence. The fence runs all round the field so it's a big job, but thanks to Cornwall Wildlife Trust and their team of willing volunteers, the task is now almost complete, with just a small section needing clearing.
Clearing bramble from around the willow windbreak.
Brambles were cleared from in and around the willow windbreak, allowing us access to coppice the willow and bring it back into rotation. The willow is planted in three lines, one line being coppiced per year, leaving two lines as a windbreak (essential on our exposed vegetable field), whilst providing willow rods for weaving. The willow has not been coppiced since the last farmers moved on, so this winter we will coppice two lines, and therefore re-instate the necessary management plan.
Greg demonstrating how to coppice willow.
Our friend Greg, an expert coppicer and willow-worker, came along to help, and found time to demonstrate to the group of volunteers how to coppice the willow. Greg will hopefully be working with us in the future, and will prove that a living windbreak can also provide valuable materials for traditional crafts and useful objects, such as baskets, chairs, benches, and fence panels.
A well-earned tea-break in the sheltered sunny polytunnel.
Many thanks to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and their Wild Penwith volunteers, who worked hard all day for just a cup of tea and a bag of salad (plus free coppicing demonstration!). Also to Greg and our regular farm volunteers who turned up to help.

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