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  • UPDATE - The main upgrade is now finished. The site should now be functioning as normal, I will be making tweaks over the weekend, particularly to look of the site. If you notice something is broken or have any comments please let me know. Many thanks Matt (Lithril)
  1. slowworm

    Entry Level Machetes - Other Makes

    I have a little Stihl electric chainsaw and it's useful for clearing thick bramble interspersed with blackthorn. Today I've been clearing an area of bramble, rose, dogwood etc and using my mini-digger... Anyway, back to the machete's, I've often fancied the Martindale, anyone used one and a...
  2. slowworm

    Entry Level Machetes - Other Makes

    Exactly. It often amuses me when someone asks for a recommendation and gets loads of replies saying "you don't want to use that..." I use a scythe, machete, slasher, secateurs, shears, billhook, chainsaw, mower etc depending on what I'm cutting. A scythe isn't much use if I'm cutting brambles...
  3. slowworm

    Woodland Custodianship

    I've been wondering about this. I have loads of ivy and some large trees down covered in the stuff so I'll be cutting it off whilst logging the trees. At what size does it become useful? I have some ivy stems probably 6" diameter but most around 3". Would that make a good hearth and does ivy...
  4. slowworm

    The "What is this bug?" thread

    It's an oil beetle. Very interesting creatures, look into their lifecycle as they depend on bees to survive. We have them here and this year there's quite a few about. https://www.buglife.org.uk/get-involved/surveys/wales-oil-beetle-survey/
  5. slowworm

    Suggestions - Whats good to forage now?

    Did you try any the year before? Blackberries, wild and cultivated. were terrible down here in Devon last year. They've been much better in previous years. I don't think they liked the warm early summer and wet and dingy late summer.
  6. slowworm

    Suggestions - Whats good to forage now?

    I've often wondered about bramble leaves, I gather they are used in tea but I thought young shoots were edible. I note PFAF says the young shoots emerging from the ground can be eaten. Anyone tried them? https://pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Rubus+fruticosus
  7. slowworm

    Dandelion Frittata

    I really must try and make some dandelion root coffee as well. We did try to grow cultivated dandelions but they were not as vigorous as the native ones all over the garden. TeeDee, did you find the leaves bitter at all or fine after cooking? I also must get around to blanching a few plants by...
  8. slowworm

    Gorse / Dandelion Wine ( Semi drinkable libations. )

    I've made gorse wine once, following the River Cottage Recipe. I wasn't that keen on the result as I'm not overly keen on the coconuty taste. Anyway, I think this is the recipe: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2012/mar/14/how-to-make-gorse-wine
  9. slowworm

    Tools of the Trade.

    I can't remember if you've said the flintlock long arm is a rifle or a shotgun? Having shot round ball in a percussion shotgun I've been surprised how accurate they can be. What do you use the pistol for?
  10. slowworm

    Shopping

    As it's a fair trek to any decent sized shops and I often don't have a reason to go into town that often I tend to keep a decent stock of essentials. It seemed sensible to add an extra pack or two of loo rolls to the last shop, along with other every day items that don't go off, when you here of...
  11. slowworm

    Happy St David's Day!

    Speaking of Daffs, who has native ones growing locally? We have what looks like native ones growing in our woodland here in Devon but I'm not sure if they would be real native ones or introduced native ones.
  12. slowworm

    Tactical Tracking Trail

    What about a freshly fired shotgun cartridge and a piece of rust-free but rustable steel, see how quickly they rust?
  13. slowworm

    Tactical Tracking Trail

    I thought you said equally interested in both? I admit to not knowing what you mean by tactical man tracking though. A couple of items that might fit the bill are fruit skins, banana and orange. The banana ages fairly well but the orange skin can seem to stay fresh for a long time.
  14. slowworm

    Tactical Tracking Trail

    I was going to suggest a body or two myself. It was interesting seeing a dead deer gradually disappear and seeing what may have been eating it and dragging bits off. Likewise a dead pigeon seemed to stay in one piece for longer than expected before disappearing. Perhaps a large bone half buried...
  15. slowworm

    how to add photos

    It's small if you're not logged in. A pet hate of mine when you land on a post on a forum from a search engine and you either can't see the photos at all or only see a small thumbnail unless you register. Anyone know of a way of paying membership without the reoccurring paypal payment?
  16. slowworm

    Woodland Custodianship

    I have the domestic Stihl MSA 120 and it's great for small stuff up to about 6". This thread might be useful for Makita compatible batteries, no experience of them myself: https://arbtalk.co.uk/forums/topic/118674-makita-18v-battery-replacement
  17. slowworm

    Woodland Custodianship

    Thank makes sense for established woodland but the area I'm working on still has the meadow grasses as it's main flora. I would use the chippings to create a ride so they wouldn't be spread over a huge area. I do take some brash home and put it through a shredder for the garden compost but...
  18. slowworm

    Woodland Custodianship

    I totally understand. I would have been more against burning until I did a fair bit of thinning and now keep tripping over the brash. This is a newly planted woodland so I'll try and leave more piles to add material to the floor but I'll burn some to allow access. I may have mentioned in the...
  19. slowworm

    Woodland Custodianship

    It has been a warm winter, we've got loads of hazel catkins out. I may have to curtail my winter felling as well, although with the windfall trees there's plenty of firewood down. I notice you're burning the brash, do you not stack it to rot down? I've left mine stacked in previous years but...
  20. slowworm

    Candle making

    Did he say why? You always end up with some wax as a bee keeper and although you can sell it to the manufacturers of foundation you only get about £1 - £2 a pound. I expect many bee keepers could sell it for candles for a better price. As my main aim isn't to maximise honey production from my...