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Churchill’s chestnut chainsaw challenge

by Rod Kebble

Farmer Mike Clear needs three hundred fence posts, each 1.75 metres (5’9”) in length — so what better source than Pierrepont’s own Tankersford Copse and Conway Churchill and his chainsaw?

Although it was an “off” weekend for the conservation group, Conway and I took advantage of the good weather forecast (which turned out to be accurate) and the monitoring group’s absence — safely out of harm’s way at Green Farm — to continue the chestnut coppicing he started a couple of weeks ago.

Countryside Restoration Trust volunteer Conway Churchill trips felled timber.

Conway Churchill trims the felled timber. The branch is too thin to be used as a fence post and will most likley be used in a stockade to protect shoots from being eaten by deer.

Cutting the trees was easy, getting them to hit the ground was a bit harder as the close proximity of one tree to another meant that — despite Conway’s best efforts — the cut trees tended to “hang up” in the branches of adjoining ones. By a combination of pushing the trunks and dragging the cut ends, we got all the trees down safely and no tree was left to fall on unsuspecting passers-by.

We probably felled timber for about thirty fence posts (plus thinner “rods” for other uses), so only 270 to go. Oh yes, and then we have to stick them in the ground…

"Still life with axe, #1".

"Still life with axe, #1" — or should that be "Stihl Life" ?