This is an area of woodland that the Forestry Commission is said to have 'coppiced', although they are birch-trees and not really large ones at that. They have left the logs lying around and there seems no large track nearby to move them, so I am assuming they are going to be just left there. At the other end of this piece is an area of conifers that have been cut down, again not a tree one coppices. The area is one in which we made our first 'Base-Camp' and what is left lying around will be useful for shelter-building with little work. There is enough to build a log-cabin but doubt if that would go down well!
As you can see the whole area is littered with silver birch logs which are usually very straight and thus easy to use in a building project. In the background you can see the area which is mainly conifer - fir, pine and spruce. Unfortunately, the pathways around are used quite a bit now since they have opened sections up, but finding a site that is not used should not be hard to do. This is the ideal sort of area to start shelter-building practice, since the materials are there to hand.
As usual I set out to explore part of the area to find s suitable place, but due to this being opened up and the extra use of the pathway the area over the other side may well be more useful. One side is a conifer wood, and the other a birch wood; the diversity (must have diversity) is very handy since these woodlands have a varied hue and thus there is a great deal of useful stuff in the same area.
I must have a gripe here, since it does seem rather drastic to cut areas out like this, and there has been a lot of clearance in these woodlands over the last year or so. In fact some areas are being totally cleared and even the flora and forna cut down - which makes one think a bit. Nigel Farage featured the mass destruction of woodlands in one of his videos, through the work of another woodland organisation. That was not that long ago either. Cutting this back so hard, and seemingly leaving the logs to rot seems disgraceful when poorer people could use them. I have not doubt that in some way these could be 'recycled'.
This is the conifer wood at the other side of the mass-destruction; this may be a suitable area to look at next. You can see how large an area has been cleared here, and this is not the same area as the hundreds of logs I photographed the other day. Whilst there is so much emphasis upon the destruction of the rain-forests, the destruction of the forests in England and Scandinavia goes on without much comment. This is no doubt true of other lands.
You can also see here the fir-branches that have also been cut off, and these make really good cover for a shelter. All the materials are here ready to use, and this saves cutting green trees.
Whilst in the woodland today I collected some pieces of pine, which included a couple of pieces of good fat-wood. These two pieces will be made into a Fat-wood Fire-Starter by drilling a hole in it and using a piece of para-cord to hang it. This is then used to cut slithers off which will burn very quickly.
Also collected was some Punk-Wood taken from a dead stump, which I am going to try (first time with this) to make into a char-tinder in a similar way to making char-cloth. This is yet another experiment which will help in giving tinder which can be carried along, thus saving the need to forage for tinder, especially in wet weather.
Not wanting to waste anything I have kept the scrapings from the pine-wood pieces and put them in the airing cupboard to dry off. Drying this stuff off increases the chances of success in the field. The pine-wood pieces which do not have much resin will be taken along to use as 'Feather-Sticks'. These are also drying out to make this more efficient.
As you can see here the potential for shelter-building and fire-lighting is excellent in this one area. The conifer area at the back looks like the best place to start looking to build a Base-Camp because it is thickly-wooded and thus not usually covered in brambles, although too easy access is not a good thing either.
All of this is being done now in order to prepare for the spring-summer when plans are being made to set up base-camps around the woods nearby, hopefully as last time in areas where they will remain unseen for some years. Whether these are ever used (except for practice) will remain to be seen, but as things go the best thing to do is to start to prepare for when the SHTF.