May 8th, 2011


Fuel and the landscape

 As the price of oil and gas has gone up, and up, wood burning stoves have become the thing to have.   And as woodburning stoves have become popular, wood which previously had no economic value has become worth paying money for. 

Here in the Tamar Valley, there is a lot of land which until recently was more or less economically valueless.  It was ex-mining land, covered in hazel, beech and oak plus in some places the leftovers of old orchards, or small conifer plantations that someone thought might make a few bob once upon a time.   The fields are steep and small, and some of them are probably contaminated as well: access is poor and there are areas of woodland that exist pretty much because it wasn't worth anyone's time to keep the land cleared. 

Now the wood is worth the effort, people have started to cut the hedges (today I saw overgrown oaks in a hedge cleared that must have been fifty years old at least) and clear the coppices.   It will be interesting to see if this change persists and results in a move to more traditionally coppiced woodland, or if the land is cleared once then put to some other purpose. 

Lurcher ahoy... again.

This large hairy dog's owner had a very serious accident and was rushed into hospital.  Nobody was able to care for the dog, so the local dog warden took him into the local pound kennels, where the  council confirmed they would not pay for his kennelling fees (nor could/would the owner)  and asked the pound to have him put to sleep.  

The pound wanted to give him a chance so they called round.  Everywhere is full to the brim including overflow spaces with lurchers right now,  even worse than usual. So I said I would take him. 

We think he is some sort of  a wolfhound cross, and about 7-ish.   At the moment he is in Milton Keynes (in Oldies Club's emergency kennels) while he gets his vaccinations up to date, then he will come here until he finds a home.