Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Potterland Wood


About two years ago, the stands of Corsican Pine, Larch, and Sitka Spruce on Potterland Hill were clear felled, leaving the steep slopes and top of the hill bare with a fringe of older Scots Pines.


At least that's what one sees from the main A711 road between Palnackie and Auchencairn...

But coming down the glen from Gelston, the hill appears still clothed on its Northwest face, and what is more important, clothed with native broadleaf trees.

(NOTE: Map on left rotated to face Southeast to match photo - click to enlarge)

Potterland Wood appears as woodland (probably managed) on the earliest maps, and if one takes the time to explore this remnant, one finds hazel coppice stools of considerable age along with many undergrowth species indicative of continuous woodland cover.

There are also tubed trees, planted more than ten years ago.   Many are oak, and some (unbelievably!) are sycamore.   Happily, most of the oaks have done well and many of the sycamores haven't. Everything else, aside from the odd conifer belongs here, but the sycamores beg for removal.   There are very few large older timber trees, but a few oaks have come back from stumps, presumably from the time an attempt was made to "coniferise" this "obsolete" coppice area in the misguided sixties.  Fortunately, the Old Wood's life force prevailed.   The area is rich in fungi as well.

Moving out into the recently felled area, there is a good amount of natural regeneration, and the Foresters have left a good few seed trees standing.   I hope this is the intent, as these areas should be allowed to return to mostly native forest.

On a brief descent of the steep Southwestern slope, I noted seedlings of hazel, beech, hawthorn, oak, ash, holly, elm, birch, rowan, hemlock, and Norway spruce.   Also left standing are several dead "perch" trees for owls or raptors.

All in all, a rather fine prospect as a neighbour for Taliesin!   I'd be happy to lead a guided walk and fungus foray during the October gathering.  Stout footwear (and walking-stick) advised, and we'll make sure to choose suitable weather!

More pictures from my recent stroll are here
And here for some of the understory plant life...
And here for some of the Historical context of the area...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Letters and Bows

In the 2008 Spring workshops and gathering at Taliesin, there were letter cutting and longbow making courses as well as general improvements and, of course, good food, good company and good times:



We operate workshops and courses twice yearly at Taliesin Community Woodland Centre. For more information click here. or for general information about Southwest Community Woodlands Trust, click here
Do pay Taliesin a visit anytime and enjoy the space.
(click for map)

Paper Making

In early October 2007, while some folk were making coracles, others were learning the joys of creative papermaking, using various found materials.
A brief set of pictures to illuminate:



We operate workshops and courses twice yearly at Taliesin Community Woodland Centre. For more information click here. or for general information about Southwest Community Woodlands Trust, click here
Do pay Taliesin a visit anytime and enjoy the space.
(click for map)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Coracles!

At Taliesin Community Woodland Centre
In Early October of 2007, at our autumn workshops and gathering, we made coracles, engaged in papermaking using found wild materials, drank gallons of hot beverages and cold spring water, ate excellent food (as usual!), and finished it all off with a party. These slides are mostly the coracle course, but the papermaking will feature in another blog.



Sit back and share (or remember) a pleasant few days...




We operate workshops and courses twice yearly at Taliesin Community Woodland Centre. For more information click here. or for general information about Southwest Community Woodlands Trust, click here
Do pay Taliesin a visit anytime and enjoy the space.
(click for map)

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Waterworks Continue to Develop

Creating a "water feature" as a means of draining the accumulation
behind the sand martin bank.



About half the rainwater falling on Potterland hill drains into the meadow above the new pondworks. A small amount percolates under the bank and emerges as a small spring, but a good deal more accumulates behind the bank. It seemed a good idea to give it a way around.

A video taken one day after the creation of the "water feature":



And a short close-up clip of the waterfall:



And another, taken in sunshine a dozen days later. The inlet from the burn has been choked down to a trickle, and is probably supplying about the same amount of water as the waterfall and spring. A few oaks have been planted on the "bump" and willow cuttings have been put in along the burn bank to reinforce it and guide any overflow further down...



A reminder of "The Plan": (click to enlarge)

Drawing by Robin Ade