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  • Writer's picturedavidburton82

Busy As A Beaver

Updated: Mar 20, 2021

Wow our muscles are aching today!

A small band of chainsaw operators and support team have been busy tidying up the coppiced Crack Willows along one of the watermeadows ditches. Hauling the cut boughs into neat piles resembling a long line of beavers' lodges, albeit a little too far from the pond or ditch for beaver convenience.

The work looked sort of "mad beaver" initially as it was too wet to get tractors or even a Landrover into the field, so the boughs were felled in February before nesting season and left where they lay. Crack Willow is a funny tree, it can naturally split top to bottom and form all sorts of messy contorted shapes, yet still grows new shoots along it's length. Now we have cut the trees back the cut stumps will grow new lush shoots. The ditch, previously smothered with a dense choking mass of intertwined willow boughs, will burst full of freshwater life in the warming sunlight as Spring rolls into Summer.

Got to hand it to those beavers, felling and clearing Willow trees is darn hard work.

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