During lockdown we spent some of our time applying for funding towards installing running water to the woodland site and towards the cost of building a more permanent shelter in Sawpit Woods. This is to improve our infrastructure for the provision of our aims to build participant wellbeing, creativity and knowledge of woodland and other countryside environments through play, exploration and learning activities.
We have been lucky enough to have a grant from the Nineveh Trust to build a more sturdy shelter in the woods. We have designed a shelter and are using wood sourced from the farm woodland to construct it with.
This morning we have been out with the tractor and trailer to go and collect some coppiced chestnut poles. No matter how old we are, we still get a great thrill from riding in the cab of a tractor! The chestnut was coppiced in the winter (when the trees are snoozing and no sap is rising) and are now ready to use. We measured, selected, loaded and fastened the chestnut poles with rope and transported them across the farm to Sawpit Woods.
Our next job is to fine tune the shelter design drawings to discuss with the constructors.
The tree surgeons were back for another day of removing dead wood from the immediate space we use in Sawpit Woods. They are helping to ensure our shelter site is free from dead or unsafe mid- height tree canopies. They have also cut up a bit of the wood for us to use with our participants throughout the year as loose parts resources throughout the coming year.
We also saw some great fungi on a huge rotting tree stump in the woods. Fungi is an amazing and little understood part of the woodland ecosystem. We were reading an article just yesterday about a scientist who has written about fungi and its importance in woodlands and the wider environment. He described it as a Wood Wide Web.
We have also been looking closely at the weather forecast (as all farmers children are innately brought up to do). It seems there is some rain and wind on the way. Whilst rain is no problem (it is all about the clothes you wear), the wind can be a concern. We will continue to monitor it and hope that is blows on through lightly, so we can be out there tomorrow exploring, playing and learning.