Saturday, 20 April 2013

Blaen Bran Community Woodland, Cwmbran

I have lived in Cwmbran since 1978 and never knew Blaen Bran  woodland existed.  It is being developed at the moment and today there was an event being held there.  It is a beautiful place to walk although somewhat hilly.  There were lots of different demonstrations of tree felling, logging, milling, log splitting,and chainsaw sculpture were just a few.
I was already breathless by the time we walked from the car park, obviously not very fit at the moment.  Maybe I need to go walking here regularly.
There is a small brook going through the woodland with a beautiful waterfall.

It is quite bare at the moment as spring is late arriving this year, but I could see bluebells coming through under the brambles.

Stuart said he would like to watch the tree felling demonstration.  There is a large area of very tall larch trees which are being thinned out as part of the woodland management plan.  We were trying to estimate the height of them but it was very difficult.  Assuming the man up the tree was about 6 foot it was many times taller than that. Possible somewhere between 80 and 100 feet.  The first job was to saw of the side branches.  He was climbing the tree using spikes on his feet which he dug into the sides of the trunk and he had a belt around himself and the trunk which he moved up as he went. 

  The next 2 pictures show him coming down again by abseiling

Next he cut a V shape out of one side of the trunk so that the tree would fall in that direction.  Then he sawed the other side and TIMBER!

Next there was a demonstration  of horse logging by a beautiful 9 year old Ardennes horse called Kip.   

Lovely walk back to the stalls down some steep rustic steps.

Two tree carvings by Simon O'Rourke

He was going to give a demonstration later but we didn't stay for that.  Stuart wanted to try the wood fired pizza and he said it was very good. Peperoni and Blaenavon cheese.  

This is the wood fired oven that was used to bake the pizza

and here is Stuart enjoying his pizza. 

Unfortunately it was a bit misty so the view of the town from up on the mountain wasn't as good as it could have been. 


Lynne Muia said...

Very interesting. These photos remind me of my home country, Canada.

SheilaMatilda said...

Maybe on a smaller scale Lynne ;-)