Written by Phil Brown, Badger Bushcraft News Sunday, 04 March 2012 11:07
We have recently secured exclusive access to a forested location and yesterday saw the start of work to create a teaching area at the new Badger Bushcraft site based in stunning piece of private woodland in the Tenterden area of Kent.
Some months ago we attended several meetings with the private land owners of a glorious 100 plus acre ancient semi-natural woodland (ASNW) site in the heart of the Kent countryside. Negotiations went exceptionally well and our new landlords were more than happy with our work and environmental ethos and have given Badger Bushcraft unrestricted access to the woodland.
The owners of the site have an exceptionally sympathetic approach to woodland management and the wood has a real feel of wilderness whilst being easily accessible. The wildlife we have seen so far includes a healthy population of buzzards, as described in the recent newspaper articles about Phil and Badger Bushcraft in both the Ashford Herald and Sevenoaks Chronicle, and we have also encountered several foxes and awoken some tawny owls.
The woodland is mainly oak (Quercus robur and Quercus petraea) standards with occasional mature ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and a hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) and hazel (Corylus avellana) understory interspersed with many silver birch (Betula pendula), goat willow (Salix caprea) and spindle (Euonymus europaeus), there are some of the largest and most beautiful wild service trees (Sorbus torminalis) that we have ever seen.
Plant life includes what promises to be an amazing display of bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) and wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa) as the spring months progress. There are also large patches of wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) and the large swathe of the remains of last years Enchanter’s-nightshade (Circaea lutetiana). We are greatly excited about what else is growing and living in the woodland and look forward to getting to know the site better, exploring and surveying for other species of both flora and fauna.
There is also a little stream, several small ponds and a large field in the centre of the site that offers great potential for foraging wild foods and hosting some atlatl and primitive archery events.
To create a teaching area we have cleared a small area of very young trees leaving all the mature trees and any coppice stools well alone, this will provide sufficient space for a parachute canopy to act as an outdoor classroom. We do, of course, always adopt and work with a minimal impact approach on this and other sites. The harvesting of materials and resources will enhance the biodiversity of the woodland by allowing light into carefully selected areas which in turn will allow the growth of plants held in stasis within the dormant seed bank in the soil which in turn will support and enhance local fauna.
We look forward to future works in the woodland and will post our progress both on the Badger Bushcraft News and Blog sections.