DIARY - JUNE 2001

28.06.01 Spent today splitting up quartered oak into rough palings ready for draw knifing tomorrow

27.06.01 Not one guess for the 'spot the flora' competition so I'll have to keep my bag of charcoal . Weather a bit cooler today so I spent all day sweating in my chainsaw trousers getting oak for a cleft oak fence . Heavy work in dense undergrowth and I'm knackered . While I was having my sandwiches this deer appeared by the kiln .

26.06.01 Spent today trying to sell barbecue charcoal in the Kirkby Lonsdale and Ingleton area . This went pretty well because Barry Houghton doesn't seem to cover this area and people are keen to get locally made charcoal . You certainly meet interesting people in this line of work and Mansergh Hall Farm shop near Kirkby Lonsdale is beautiful place which makes its own lamb and pork products . Well worth a visit see the links page . Still no entrants for the 'guess the flora' competition so I'm going to repeat the picture till someone is forced to enter .

25.06.01 A few days off for a christening but now its back to work . Hopefully the sunny weather will send charcoal sales soaring . No not the nettle .

21.06.01 I've had a lot of complaints (well one ) that the coppice cam wasn't updated yesterday . I'm sorry I was giving blood and was a bit tired . Anyway to make up for it here is a picture of my cleft alder fence posts that I've put round the willow patch to stop the deer ....hmmmm.

19.06.01 A day spent bagging . Very boring but needs doing . 80 standard and 6 large bagged up . The light getting through to the woodland floor is having a great effect on the oak regeneration .

18.06.01 Burn 7 was a success! Another 100 bagger , the waiting was worth it for a lot of high quality charcoal . It is now getting time to start organising next winters woodland to give time for any grants to be put in place .

14.06.01 Burn 7 was successfully completed on Friday , this one going on interminably for 13 hours . Weather a bit showery . Delivered 65 bags to my East Midland agent over the weekend .

13.06.01 Nice cool weather , but a disappointing day emptying the kiln . After the 12 hour burn I still had loads of brown ends and a low yield of 16 builders bags of charcoal . What's more I was unable to get the kiln reloaded after emptying it . This seems to be a problem with the bigger thinned timber which is taking a lot of splitting .

12.06.01 Burn 6 completed on Monday after 12 hours . The extra cooking time was probably due to the amount of green wood in the charge as opposed to brown ends from a previous burn . The amount of water driven off at the start can be quite dramatic , I'm just glad most people are asleep at that time of the morning!

08.06.01 The end of another week and the kiln is filled and ready to go with burn 6 on Monday 11th June . Friday was spent extracting wood from compartment 7 and forming a route through the wood so I can go round in a big circle with the trailer and cut down the amount of shuffling about . Here is the path opening up at the far end of the wood .

07.06.01 Rhubarb the Landrover has puncture number 5 , this time requiring a new tyre as well . I thought I was doing well last weekend sold two hurdles 75 2 days later one tyre 74.99 ho hum . Today I emptied the kiln and it was the most productive burn yet a massive hundred bagger , and all very nice charcoal . I was late starting out this morning however and I still havn't managed to turn round a kiln in a day so that its ready to burn again . I must get this sorted or I will fail miserably .

05.06.01 Burn number 5 today . A busy day as instead of spending most of the day doing fencing while the burn was on , I got in wood for the next burn . Its mostly big birch ( 18 inches across ) so it needed a fair bit of chopping up . Burn started at 5.30 am finished at 15:00 .

04.06.01 A nice dry day , although a bit hot with my double thickness chainsaw trousers on . I have filled the kiln ready for a burn tomorrow , it seemed to fill up fairly painlessly this time . I have also pushed the inlet ports back in after two rather poor burns with the inlets very close to the edge of the kiln . Met an interesting old fella who can remember them making charcoal in big earth mounds at Witherslack Hall woods . He also worked on dredgers on Windermere that brought up green sand from the depths . This sand was Deposited during the ice age and is different from the silt that still gets deposited . When they had to go deeper than 120 foot to recover the sand it became uneconomical and the sand wharf is now the steamboat museum . Here is a picture of a cleft oak bird table .