The felling operations in the wood finished a few weeks ago although there are still log stacks waiting to be removed at the loading bay next to the Banbury Road. The places where the rides (main paths) were damaged by the logging machinery have reportedly been repaired, but our view is that most have not been done satisfactorily. WDC Councillor Rhead, who you may remember gave assurances that the logging this time around would leave the wood in a better state than previously, is agreeing with us, and we are urging WWT and WDC to improve what has been done. We don’t want a muddy mess where there was previously a firm path, nor do we want dips left to fill with water and become mud baths. Let’s hope for a positive outcome.

On another subject, over the past year or so our trail camera has been recording less large mammals (roe deer, foxes, badgers), at least, that’s my feeling although I’ve not kept accurate records. It could be down to increased disturbance – more visitors during COVID times, and more recently the felling operations. It could perhaps be because of the reduced amount of cover as a result of the thinning. Whatever the reasons, it’s to be hoped it’s only temporary. I will be keeping records from now on so in future we may be able to see some trends.

This is one reason I’ve not posted any video for some while – and I’m looking for different rather than more of the same. The camera is  currently by the pond which is undoubtedly the most visited part of the wood, and this was a first, captured the other day…

Like a competitor on Ninja Warrior, the stoat crosses the log, leaps the gap, swims the water and then races up the tree. Stoats predate squirrels, so was perhaps hoping to find one, but comes back down the tree empty-mouthed, so to speak. Impressive stuff though.

I will try to produce some more video soon.


4 thoughts on “Latest”

  1. Hi Chris, I’m surprised you say the felling has finished they have left such a mess all over the woods by just pulling up trees & leaving them in a piles with small stumps sticking up which you can’t see like two weeks ago I tripped over one & ended up on the floor while walking my dog.
    I couldn’t even find the paths when I walked around on Monday 8 November due to mess it’s such a shame to the damage they has done it would of been better if they had just left it alone.

    1. I agree it’s frustrating, but as I’ve explained on previous occasions, WDC only maintains the main paths. Other paths have no official standing and are ignored during forestry work. It is particularly frustrating for us in FOW as we provide a practical map of the wood that also shows useful secondary paths, and of course this is invalidated by the forestry work. However, from a practical point of view, it would be difficult if not impossible for the loggers to do their work if they had to avoid all the minor paths, even if they knew where they were and could even see them. I have suggested to WWT that some clearing of blocked paths could be something that their volunteer sessions could attempt (I’m waiting for a response on this). But, having said that, new paths will rapidly appear anyway, and clearing old blocked paths may become pointless.

      The problem will recur whenever major thinning takes place. The next is planned for 2024 (there is a 10 year maintenance plan) although the scale of the work will only be determined at the time.

  2. Hi Chris, Is it possible to put some signs on the gate’s asking people to close them even if they find them open. I don’t know why people can’t do this??

    1. We can ask, but WDC seems generally reluctant to put signs around the wood. I suspect that people who need to be told to close gates aren’t going to take much notice of signs anyway. I have to close open gates every time I go to the wood.

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