Last Wilden Marsh Workday of 2015.

It’s a matter of days before a new year of marsh improvement and maintenance is upon us. 

The last workday of this year was held in the dry field immediately north of Hilary Road. This was the first day ever that I’ve worked on the marsh in a tee shirt. There wasn’t a breath of wind, and I was bathed in sweat for most of the time. OK, I was wielding an axe a lot, but in previous years we would have build a large brash fire to keep us warm – we didn’t yesterday! The current weather is exceptional. Daffodils are blooming at Marsh Farm.

Are you wondering why I don’t use a chainsaw? The reason is simple: I don’t like the noise, the smell,  or the weight. An axe doesn’t breakdown, it’s light weight, it requires minimal maintenance, it doesn’t require fuel or lose its settings, and I can carry two of them on my belt without any stress or strain. I prefer my time on the marsh to be peaceful and quiet. When I fell a tree it’s a challenge requiring my total involvement. I apply muscle, stamina and technique to the handles of an axe and a bow saw; the sounds of these tools biting wood are music to my ears.

Our day on the marsh, yesterday, was peaceful and calm. We saw and heard things happening around us, nothing grated or caused offence, and we had time to talk and stare. Add a chainsaw, or any other motorised equipment to the mix and the whole dynamic is altered – for the worst, in my book.

The crack willow trees that had blown down onto a steep bank, were cut up and placed on the ground nearby. New shoots will grow from the stumps and the wood stacked on the ground will provide shelter for the cattle, deer, and many other critters.

Here are a couple of phone camera images:


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Fallen Willows Being Removed.

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From Leaning Over To Lying Down.

10 Comments on “Last Wilden Marsh Workday of 2015.

  1. My husband agrees with you and the chainsaw. He likes to use the axe too – he says it’s been used for 2000 years for a reason!

    • You can’t beat its reliability. It takes around one minute to sharpen to the point where I can shave with it, and I won’t wear it out in my lifetime. It’s no wonder the axe has remained in use for more than 2000 years.

      The most effective axe uses the best quality steel head and a slim hickory handle; the rest doesn’t matter.

  2. The high number of trees in our area means we have near constant machine noise from local garden maintenance in season. Not pleasant in the summer with windows open. There’s plenty of evidence of stone age hand tools on the nearby ridgeway. Weather’s certainly strange – we should be under snow, I reckon…!

    • The mechanical garden maintenance noise is often unpleasant, but is something we have to put up with until silent options are made available at an affordable price.

      Don’t give up on snow yet, it can still happen. 🙂

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