Knighton Tree Allotments Trust

“Restoring & Protecting Ancient Woodland & Trees”

a talk by Vaughan Lewis, the Woodland Trust’s Ancient Woodland Restoration Officer for Powys

Thursday 11 May 2017 at 7:30pm Offa’s Dyke Centre, West St, Knighton

The talk will be preceded by the KTAT AGM

 KTAT AGM Poster 2017


Stop Press! The 2017 KTAT annual newsletter now here!

Read all about what KTAT has been doing from April 2016 to April 2017.

 Newsletter April 2017

Knighton Tree Allotments Trust is a group of volunteers who manage woodlands for the benefit of wildlife and our members.  We come together to share and learn woodland skills.  We aim to manage woodland sustainably and to allow our members access to affordable woodland products – such as firewood and timber.  Knighton Tree Allotments Trust is a separately constituted organisation that grew from TVEG.

It is a common misconception that unmanaged woodland is best for wildlife.  In fact, by managing the woodland through traditional practices such as coppicing, we increase the variety of habitats and increase the richness of wildlife.  In ensuring that the trees that we fell for fuel or timber are replaced with new plants, we are creating a sustainable supply of woodland products.

In sustainably growing firewood and other woodland products we can meet some of our fuel and food needs as well as reducing our carbon footprints.  At the same time we are joining co-operatively with other local people to enjoy, conserve and enrich our local environment.

So why, as a conservation group, do we cut down trees?  There are several reasons for this.  First of all, sometimes we are simply harvesting a crop.  Most broadleaved trees, when coppiced (cut almost to ground level), will re-grow and can be harvested again in a few years – how many years depends on the site conditions and what size of wood you need: beanpoles can be harvested after 3 to 4 years whereas firewood takes 8 to 15 years.   Trees can last for centuries being cut like this.  Sometimes we want to give certain trees more space and light to enable them to grow larger and fatter, so we fell the trees around them.  At other times you might have a whole woodland of trees the same age – a plantation – where, like in a vegetable garden, you have sown or planted more trees that you need in order to later select the best and strongest to grow on to maturity.  It might be that a tree is so damaged by grey squirrels, deer, weather or other factors that it is removed to give the remaining trees more light.  Although, at other times, we deliberately leave dead trees standing as they provide a good home for birds, bats, bugs and fungi.  In the past large herbivores such as elk, moose, bison, wild boar and aurochs – and their predators  – would have made the woodland a dynamic environment, constantly changing and varying due to grazing, rooting, and digging.  In the absence of these creatures the environment becomes static and things like ground flora decrease.  By managing woodlands through coppicing or thinning we are providing change, increasing habitats and supporting woodland species.

We are currently working in three woodlands: at the Samatha Trust in Llangunllo, at  Castlering Wood in Beggar’s Bush and at Skyborry, near Knighton.

For more information here is our current leaflet explaining KTAT  KTAT Promotional Leaflet

Our current work programme

We go out to local woodlands one day a week, usually alternating between Thursdays and Sundays, and volunteers choose how much of the day to stay for. Volunteers work at their own pace and KTAT provides all the tools and training needed.  So come and learn new skills while helping local wildlife.  For more information on the workdays, and to find out how to join in, please contact Gary Cowell.  Email: woodland@tveg.org.uk  Tel: 01547 520374.

Trees need to be coppiced (cut back almost to ground level then re-grown) or felled when they are dormant and we need to be careful not to disturb nesting birds.  For these reasons, most woodland work is carried out in autumn and winter.  Summer is a time of clearing up from our winter work, keeping newly planted trees free from weeds and cutting cordwood (4 foot long pieces of wood) into logs.  This summer we are also running a couple of training courses in association with the Woodland Trust.

Sunday 30th April – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm
Earlier in the year a few trees were felled in one of our woodlands as part of a thinning process.  The felled trees need to be cut into cordwood, carried out of the wood and stacked to season.
 Thursday 4th May – 9.15am to approximately 2.30pm
We will be tidying up after ourselves in this wood: carrying out the cut hazel coppice and also cutting up and extracting the birch that has been felled as part of thinning (thinning is reducing the overall number of trees to increase the light available to the remaining trees and encourage their growth).  We will be creating logs stacks to season the wood.
 Sunday 14th May – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm
We will be tidying up after ourselves in the wood: carrying out the cut hazel coppice and also cutting up and extracting the birch that has been felled as part of thinning (thinning is reducing the overall number of trees to increase the light available to the remaining trees and encourage their growth).  The wood will be added to our log stacks for seasoning.
 Thursday 18th May – 9.15am to approximately 2.30pm
We will be cutting cordwood into logs.  The cordwood will be cut to length using a chainsaw with larger diameter pieces also split with axes.
 Sunday 28th May – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm
Earlier in the year a few trees were felled in one of our woodlands as part of a thinning process.  The felled trees need to be cut into cordwood, carried out of the wood and stacked to season.
 Monday 5th June, Tuesday 6th June, Wednesday 7th June and Thursday 8th June
These 4 days are for the annual distribution of wood from this site.  We will be cutting cordwood into logs and moving all of our seasoned firewood into the car park ready for Volunteer Members to collect – our busiest week of the year.
 Saturday 10th June 2017 –time tbc.
Training Course: Ancient Woodland Flora Species Identification
Come and join us for this FREE training course provided by KTAT and Vaughan Lewis, the Woodland Trust’s Ancient Woodland Restoration Project Officer.  This course replaces the woodland task day this weekend.
 Thursday 15th June – 9.15am to approximately 2.30pm
Weeding around the newly planted trees to make sure that grass, bracken, etc., do not take water and nutrients from the trees.
 Thursday 22nd June – 9.15am to approximately 2.30pm
Please note that this is an additional workday that does not fit in our usual pattern of alternating Thursdays and Sundays.  This day has been added as we are able to access one of our woodlands on this date.  Weeding around the newly planted trees to make sure that grass, bracken, etc., do not take water and nutrients from the trees.
 Saturday 24th June 2017 –time tbc.
Training Course: Tree Identification and Thinning Selection.
Come and join us for this FREE training course provided by KTAT and Vaughan Lewis, the Woodland Trust’s Ancient Woodland Restoration Project Officer.  This course replaces the woodland task day this weekend.
 Thursday 29th June – 9.15am to approximately 2.30pm
Cutting cordwood into logs.  The cordwood will be cut to length using a chainsaw with larger diameter pieces also split with axes.  The logs will be stacked onto pallets, and a cover placed on top, to continue the seasoning process.
 Sunday 9th July – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm
Cutting cordwood into logs.  The cordwood will be cut to length using a chainsaw with larger diameter pieces also split with axes.  The logs will be stacked onto pallets, and a cover placed on top, to continue the seasoning process.
 Thursday 13th July – 9.15am to approximately 2.30pm
Cutting cordwood into logs.  The cordwood will be cut to length using a chainsaw with larger diameter pieces also split with axes.  The logs will be stacked onto pallets, and a cover placed on top, to continue the seasoning process.
 Sunday 23rd July – 9.30am to approximately 1pm Please note shorter day.
Tool maintenance.  Looking after KTAT’s tools and the shed they are kept in.  Activities will include applying eco-friendly waterproofing to our shed and sharpening and oiling tools.
 Thursday 27th July – 9.15am to approximately 2.30pm
Cutting cordwood into logs.  The cordwood will be cut to length using a chainsaw with larger diameter pieces also split with axes.  The logs will be stacked onto pallets, and a cover placed on top, to continue the seasoning process.
 Sunday 6th August – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm
Cutting cordwood into logs.  The cordwood will be cut to length using a chainsaw with larger diameter pieces also split with axes.  The logs will be stacked onto pallets, and a cover placed on top, to continue the seasoning process.
 Thursday 10th August – 9.15am to approximately 2.30pm
Cutting cordwood into logs.    The cordwood will be cut to length using a chainsaw with larger diameter pieces also split with axes.  The logs will be stacked onto pallets, and a cover placed on top, to continue the seasoning process.
 Sunday 20th August – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm
Cutting cordwood into logs.    The cordwood will be cut to length using a chainsaw with larger diameter pieces also split with axes.  The logs will be stacked onto pallets, and a cover placed on top, to continue the seasoning process.
 Thursday 24th August – 9.15am to approximately 2.30pm
Cutting cordwood into logs.  The cordwood will be cut to length using a chainsaw with larger diameter pieces also split with axes.  The logs will be stacked onto pallets, and a cover placed on top, to continue the seasoning process.
 Sunday 3rd September – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm
With the nesting season well over we will resume thinning the birch in this young woodland – reducing the amount of birch to increase the light available to other species such as oak, beech and rowan.  The trees will be felled and then cut into sections with the wood being stacked for seasoning.
 Thursday 9th September – 9.15am to approximately 2.30pm
Thinning the birch in this young woodland – reducing the amount of birch to increase the light available to other species such as oak, beech and rowan.  The trees will be felled and then cut into sections with the wood being stacked for seasoning.
 Sunday 17th September – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm
Thinning the birch in this young woodland – reducing the amount of birch to increase the light available to other species such as oak, beech and rowan.  The trees will be felled and then cut into sections with the wood being stacked for seasoning.
 Thursday 21st September – 9.15am to approximately 2.30pm
Thinning the birch in this young woodland – reducing the amount of birch to increase the light available to other species such as oak, beech and rowan.  The trees will be felled and then cut into sections with the wood being stacked for seasoning.
For more information on the workdays, and to find out how to join in, please contact Gary Cowell. Email: woodland@tveg.org.uk Tel: 01547 520374.

Ways to get involved…

We are always looking for people who would like to learn about woodland management and ecology.  Volunteering is a great way to meet like-minded people. You can get plenty of fresh air and exercise while learning new skills.  We need help with hands-on woodland management such as tree planting and firewood processing, regular flora and fauna surveys and administrative tasks.  If you would like to register as a volunteer please use the form below.  Once you have registered as a volunteer you will receive regular emails about forthcoming workdays and other KTAT events. Volunteer Registration Form

You could also join KTAT as a Member. When you become a member you get a say in how the Trust is run; you can help decide the policies that guide how we operate.  You’ll also become part of an active community of like-minded people who are working towards sustainable development.  And that’s not all.  You can attend members’ meetings, such as our AGM, where you can raise issues that are important to you and find out more about how the Trust is doing.  Plus, you can vote for someone to represent your views as a Trustee.  And if you fancy it, you can even stand for election yourself as a Trustee – it’s a great chance to represent your fellow members.   Membership costs just £10 a year.  KTAT Membership Form

More about Knighton Tree Allotments Trust

To find out more about our local woodland activities take a look at our annual newsletter, produced in the Spring of each year.  The latest (2016) Newsletter can be found here: Newsletter April 2016

We also have the previous annual newsletters that will let you know how we have grown and changed as an organisation over the last 5 years: Newsletter April 2015  Newsletter March 2014    Newsletter April 2013  Newsletter April 2012

There are a number of other documents of interest that we have had a role in producing:

A Landowner’s tips for voluntary woodland organisations

Understanding Woodland Management

Managing Woodlands for added value

Processing and Stacking Firewood

Woodlands Appeal

We recognise the local need to provide wood for fuel and other woodland products, whilst maintaining healthy vibrant woodlands for wildlife and ensuring biodiversity for future generations.  We aim to provide the woodlands our community needs for a sustainable future and are now looking for land and woodlands to lease or manage, preferably within a 9 mile radius of Knighton, though we will consider further afield.

Please contact Gary at woodland@tveg.org.uk  or tel. 01547 520374 if you have any land that might be suitable.

Running KTAT

We currently have five Trustees who have taken on various responsibilities: Angie Zelter (Secretary), Camilla Saunders, Jamie Ritchie, Kate Maclean and Jo Arponen.  The Trustees are supported in their work by a part-time Co-ordinator who leads the woodland workdays and helps with the administration of the organisation.

We are always keen to hear from people who have relevant skills and experience that they would like to offer KTAT, perhaps by becoming a Trustee.  If you feel that you can help us in the sustainable management of local woodlands for the benefit of wildlife and our members, please contact the Company Secretary, Angie Zelter on 01547 520929 or email woodland@tveg.org.uk

Each year we hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) where Members, Trustees and Volunteers come together to find out how the Trust is doing and to decide on our next steps.  Members of KTAT vote for the Trustees who make the day-to-day decisions on behalf of the Members.  Our AGM for 2016 was held on Thursday 5th May 2016 at the Offa’s Dyke Centre at 7.30pm and a report can be found here.

To find out what was discussed and decided at previous meetings please follow the links below.

Our AGM for 2015 was held on Thursday 16th April 2015 at Knighton Community Centre at 7.30pm and a report can be found here.

Our AGM for 2014 was held on Tuesday 25th March 2014 at the Offa’s Dyke Centre at 7.30pm and a report can be found here.

Our AGM for 2013 was held on Thursday 25th April 2013 at the Offa’s Dyke Centre at 7.30 p.m. and a report can be found here.

Knighton Tree Allotments Trust has the following aims and objectives:-

The objects for which the Trust is established are for the benefit of the public in and around Knighton and the Teme Valley, including the members of the Trust, so that they can plant and maintain woodlands to provide themselves with affordable access to firewood, fruit, nuts and other woodland products in a sustainable manner by:-

1. setting up a Model Tree Allotment where skills can be learnt and shared and where trees are planted wherever appropriate to produce a sustainable supply of woodland products, including firewood, fruit, nuts, and timber whilst encouraging biodiversity. The distribution of the woodland products from this Model Tree Allotment will go to all those directly involved in working and managing the Model Tree Allotment including those who are also Trustees or members of the Trust;
2. acquiring and providing affordable use of land for local people to grow their own firewood and woodland products by the setting up of Tree Allotments;
3. promoting education, skill-sharing and knowledge of woodland management, sustainable eco-systems, biodiversity, and related scientific and artistic endeavour;
4. managing all lands held by the Trust in a sustainable fashion, so as to enhance the diversity, productivity and beauty of the environment, in accordance with organic principles, for the benefit and happiness of present and future generations;
5. encouraging participation in all of the above activities of the Trust by the general public and specific interest groups of all ages, abilities and backgrounds;
6. acquiring lands whether freehold or leasehold, with or without buildings and fixtures, and of a character, size and location to be decided by the Trustees.

Please click on the link below for more information.  Knighton Tree Allotments Trust – Memorandum and Articles of Association.

Looking after Wildlife

Our aim is to “manage woodlands for the benefit of woldlife and our members”.  But how do we know that we are achieving this?  We carry out regular flora and fauna surveys, the results of which can be found here.

Greenstreete Bird Survey – April 2016

Greenstreete Bird Survey – Sept 2015    Greenstreete Bird Survey – June 2015

Baselines Flora and Fauna Surveys at Greenstreete 2013  Greenstreete Bird Survey November 2013  Greenstreete Bird Survey – May 2013   Greenstreete Moth Surveys 2013

Greenstreete Bird Survey – Dec 2012

Photographs

Photographs of some of the activities you can be part of by volunteering.

 

Workday 23rd January 2014 (10) - compressed Trustees meeting on  8Jun2012 Stacking Sarah Jamie and Mick working at Weir Cottage 4Nov13 Milling Last Brash clearing session Axes & Bodgers Andy stacking Woodstore 21May14 door on Tod Bernard and Andy working away5 with certificates 4Nov13 Andy stacking Angie&Colin with saw Axes & Bodgers Kate and julie-Ann high pruning Last Brash clearing session Milling

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