Ramblings from Finemere Wood

Charlotte Karmali brings the latest news from the volunteers at Finemere Wood.

There has been much felling of trees in Finemere Wood over the autumn months, every volunteer’s favourite pastime.

The main target has been the silver birch in Long Close Meadow, in the heart of the wood. These trees are fast growing and abundant, and so each year a block or two are removed to allow the grassy meadow to flourish. The trees are chopped into manageable chunks, loaded onto a bonfire, used to create habitat piles or taken away for fire wood.

They are a mixed bag, my team: there are the small but mighty who tackle trees many times taller and wider than themselves; there is the one who regales us with amusing stories, his voice reverberating throughout the wood; the one who manages the bonfire, obsessively and painstakingly, not a branch or flame out of place; the ones who quietly and efficiently take on the big stuff and the ones who uncomplainingly take on the small stuff; the one who clears up after everybody, endlessly dragging branches to the fire and the ones who gently tease and banter and prevent us from taking ourselves too seriously.


The volunteers at Finemere Wood tackle the silver birch. Photo by Charlotte Karmali

We meet once again before Christmas to clear the meadow of the debris that has resulted from these slash and burn extravaganzas. I shall have to rein in the exuberant individuals, they must turn their attention from conquering giant trees to laboriously chopping up the spoils.

We shall be merry around the fire and bake potatoes in the ashes. Father Christmas will be there, he says he has retired from that role, he no longer needs to cultivate a flowing white beard. But he can’t fool me, he is the real thing and he will never persuade me otherwise.

Come and join the Finemere Wood volunteers. Everyone's welcome and no experience is necessary!

Email Charlotte for further information

Next Work Party Dates: Thursday 10 January; Thursday 24 January; Thursday 14 February; Thursday 28 February; 9.30am-3pm.