Although the ranger team at West Exmoor take time off over Christmas and New Year we often need to break our holiday and come in to deal with a problem or two. It could be that we have guests snowed in at one of our holiday cottages like 3 years ago, landslips blocking paths and roads like last year or, more often than not, trees blown down and blocking footpaths. It was reports of a large tree down that prompted me to call Rangers Marcus and Dan and ask them if they wouldn’t mind coming in today to clear it. As you will see from the photos it was a large oak tree which had completely blocked the footpath between Rockford and Ash Bridge. Dan and Marcus soon cut a gap so people could pass safely and we rolled the timber to one side, one way of working off that Christmas excess.
Although very much a part of their life cycle it is sad to see such a mature tree blow down. It has opened up a nice gap in the canopy however which will let more light on to the woodland floor, this in turn will result in more saplings developing in to trees and so the cycle continues.
The trunk on this tree is a good size so if possible I want to remove it from the wood and convert it to timber for estate use, not an easy job as it is the wrong side of the river and quite a way from the road.