Our latest maintenance of woodland was given a fantastic boost by having the Tarragona Hillbillies community group supporting. Once a month this group gets together at someones property to help with a project. This is a great example of mny hands making light work.
We worked at the top of our land and removed 10 old pines that had either already died, were crowded out by other trees and/or were dominating and suffocating the nearby oak trees and shrubs. The two photos below show the before and after. In addition to allowing other plants to grow more, we have removed a fire hazard for summer and secured firewood for the winter. All while enjoying the company of our community and getting great exercise in the fresh air.
We are still understanding the most effective way to deal with the wood processing remnants that we would have normally burnt. However, with no burn licences this year and our only shredder taking too much power from the solar we are building up plies of pine until we can afford the €600 for an diesel shredder/cutter or for summer sun to arrive. Meanwhile we are lopping down the larger branches, creating more storage areas and stacking what was split.
but Meanwhile we are progressing with more tree removal - this time one that was nearer house (so inside the 25m fire safety area) and was partly blocking the solar panels in winter with the lower sun. The tree was around 15m tall so Ethan and Barry took some time to prepare so the process was safe.
The first two photos below show where the tree was between the house and mountain (look between the top of the white parasol and the gazebo roof and the 1st photo shows a pine tree peaking out above some oak trees - it is not there in the 2nd photo). The 3rd photo shows it was very close to some oak trees so another case of thinning out the pine.
The final picture illustrates that the pine was very close to the baranc (large water gulley around 100m deep but dry right now) - the picture is taken from part way down the gulley and looking back up to where the tree was. This added a degree of difficulty so that the tree landed correctly and then when taking the branches off we did not lose them into the gulley. In the end we lost just one branch into the baranc and will retrieve this in the future.
We still need to install the chimney and agree how we provide the 1.5m outside the yurt with the right support. Plus we need to add in the aluminium splash backs behind it to protect the canvas and wood of the yurt
The base is 1m square and as the pictures below show is made up of OSB/chip board, plaster board and then tiles on fire retardant tile fix before being finished with grouting.
Frances and Barry Copping bought Xalet Pigall in 2015. They are working towards resilience and self-sufficiency.