A very quick mention of our first hazel coppice this afternoon. I had this lovely idea that you could build a deer guard out of twigs and branches from the tree you had just felled, weaving them all together like hurdles. Busily congratulating myself for such a work of inspired genius, it actually turns out that this is quite a common way to protect hazel stools from being browsed.
Although a little scruffy in its raw, leafy stage, the overall effect is quite pleasing. While it is slightly short at three feet tall, it should be wide enough at the base to let new shoots up when they come in the spring and if nothing else, this early attempt provides us with a blueprint for future constructions. While we worked in the sunset, a roe deer barked furiously at the other end of the wood and jays flopped lazily by in the failing red light. There is something to be said in favour of this woodland stuff.