Every so often, we have a Rangers’ Day, one day when all the different teams from North Devon National Trust work together. For yesterday’s Rangers’ Day, staff and volunteers from Watersmeet, Heddon, Woolacombe and Hartland all descended on a wooded area in Woody Bay to chop down some trees.
There were some rangers in our number who were experienced in this sort of thing but the rest of us were office workers, catering or retail staff more used to working indoors! Guided by Marcus, one of the Heddon rangers, we were tutored in how to use a bow saw and supplied with hard hats and gloves.
Our aim was to cut down as many of the trees – mostly silver birch – as we could and saw them up, saving the what we could for making charcoal and burning the bits and pieces that were left over.
The area was once heathland but, with the trees colonising in huge numbers, that habitat is being lost. We hope that cutting down the trees will mean that the heath will return and next autumn we will be able to see a beautiful carpet of heather.
It really was a beautiful spot to work in – we had great views of the bay and of the South Wales coast beyond. We could even see occasional plumes of smoke rising from the steel works on the other side of the Bristol Channel.
It was hard work, and the heat of the bonfire was immense, but it was great to spend some time with our colleagues and I learnt that there really isn’t anything very much more satisfying, after some exhausting sawing, than watching a tree crash to the ground. Timber!
Check out our photos below.
Visitor Services Officer