Despite the rain halfway through the competition those taking part in The Friends of Bourne Wood Den Building on Sunday, had an enjoyable afternoon.
The five families used leftover materials from the thinning to create dens deep within the wood, which were then covered with bracken. John Wilcockson, the leader of the event explained how to make the dens, suggested extras that could be added and reminded people that all of the family should fit in the den and that they should be waterproof!
The winning family was Eric Bower, Kat Walters and Rose and Ted Bower-Walters who had a removable door for their cosy den. The runners-up had two seats, a cooker and a bar, while one family included a dog kennel.
Due to the rain, everyone was keen to get into the dens at the end as it was much drier in there!
Thanks go to John for running the event and our helpers, Cindy, Brian and Valerie for helping to judge and look after those taking part.
Bourne Wood is managed as a commercial forest by the Forestry Commission (FC), although conservation of wildlife and recreation are given more precedence in recognition of higher public usage compared to the large, more remote conifer forests in the uplands with fewer visitors. FC was established in 1919 to address Britain’s declining woodland and timber resources, a trend that had commenced in the Middle Ages and had reached an all-time low by the beginning of the 20th Century. This decline was compounded by the outbreak of World War 1 when the country was no longer able to rely on timber imports.
The main purpose of forestry is to grow and harvest or fell trees for timber for a wide range of outlets and uses including for the domestic construction industry, paper production, the manufacture of panels or board, fencing and pallets and to a lesser extent, fuel. Almost four million tonnes of wood are harvested every year from England and Scotland’s public forests. Forestry supports local rural economies by creating employment and supporting forestry contractors who both make use of local facilities and services.
Bourne Wood produces both hardwood timber from broad-leaved species such as oak and wild cherry and softwood from conifers such as Corsican and Scots Pine and European Larch. The vast majority of timber extraction from UK forests is from softwoods, many of which are from plantations established in the 20th Century. Some softwoods have been planted into ancient woodland sites such as at Bourne. All Forestry Commission woods are managed sustainably such that new trees are planted, or allowed to regenerate naturally, to replace those that have been felled and removed.
Many softwoods are harvested after 60 years whereas for a hardwood such as oak, the rotation may be as long as 150 years. In addition to the felling and extraction of the final timber/tree ‘crop’ at harvestable age, a selection of trees are removed at intervals after their initial establishment to reduce the density of trees in a plantation, improve the quality and growth of the remaining trees and produce a saleable final product. This is known as thinning. Normally the first thinning is undertaken when trees have reached between 10 and14 metres in height but the exact timing is dependent on the tree species, the nature of the local environment and financial and marketing considerations.
Acknowledgement contributions from John Wilcockson.
The Friends of Bourne Wood had a warm, sunny day for their second den building competition of the year on Sunday.
The families used leftover materials from the thinning to create dens deep within the wood, which were then covered with bracken. John Wilcockson, the leader of the event explained how to make the dens, suggested extras that could be added and that there would be a rainstorm to test the waterproofness of the dens at the end!
Four families, plus John’s family entered the competition in the morning, with the winners being the Whitney family from South Witham. The afternoon session had three groups with the winners being an all ladies team of Adams and Carlton, who won with lots of added extras such as a washing line and toilet!
Everyone had great fun, although they all got wet when water was thrown over the dens!
We had a warm day with sunny intervals for our den building competition on Sunday.
Five families used leftover materials from the wood thinning to create dens deep within the wood. Most were made lean-to style, with the exception of one wigwam style. The dens were then covered with Bracken to help make them waterproof.
The wigwam style den was big enough for two families, with a dog kennel at the end for the family’s springer spaniel, accommodating five people very comfortably, a very impressive but ambitious design in the time allotted. Other dens had outside seating, carpeted floors, and open fires.
Once made, the dens were tested to see if they were waterproof with the families sitting inside, and the others listening for the screams as they got wet – which everyone did!
As always, it was difficult to choose a winner as all dens were really good, but the winner was made by the Knudson family, a lean-to design with carpet, a rocking chair, and a camp fire!
There will be another chance to try your hand at den building at the end of August, so look out for the posters for this.
There is evidence that the current wood formed part of a larger area of woodland and forest around Bourne and in Morton and Edenham parishes referred to in the Domesday Book of c.1086. This formed part of a much larger expanse of woodland and forest stretching as far as Northamptonshire known as Brunneswald or Bromswold. Around this time, the major landowner in Bourne was Oger the Breton whose holding was likely to have included most of Bourne Wood. Continue reading Bourne Wood: A Portrayal of a Wood in Kesteven→
Bourne Woods are owned and managed by the Forestry Commission.
This means that the Forestry Commission are responsible for planting, looking after and felling the trees within the wood. Continue reading Forestry Commission→