As a distraction from endless work on the house I’ve switched attention to the 1,900 square metres of trees. Firstly I cut a path through the young trees, then I wandered up and down. I realised I was blind to the varieties and types of trees. I could recognise Oak and that was it, pathetic, I knew nothing. I’d look at one tree, think to myself now remember the leaf shape, look around see another tree and then be completely unable to match them or differentiate, I had a kind of horticultural dyslexia. After a week or so of this I gave up. My second approach was to clear out the ‘grange’, two stories of probably 60 years of rubbish, I had a vision, this was where my training board was going to be, this was easy, heave out rubbish and scatter it through the woods like a hillbilly, to be dealt with later. The second phase of me getting familiar with my wood was to see what might fall from the trees and feed me, suddenly I was making progress, my dendrological knowledge was blossoming; I found figs (fig tree), prunes (prune tree?), purple prunes (purple prune tree?), walnuts (walnut tree). So thats six identified varieties, I will be a woodsman yet!

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