Before we'd even done all the clearing up from the storm in October, the woodland got hit again on Christmas Eve. No oaks down this time, but plenty of big sweet chestnut stools over:
Quite often, one knocks another over. And in this case another, and then another!
We spent a couple of days between Christmas and New Year sorting some of them out, removing the stems and tipping the stools back into the ground where possible:
As there's so much, we're cutting it to 2 or 3m lengths (according to what it might be used for) and stacking it:
As some of the stems are pretty large, they'll be used to make benches or stools rather than just firewood.
I came up with a neat way of stopping the logs rolling off their bearers without having to build a rack:
But that's just one of the piles of logs, here's another (with plenty more still to come behind it):
And yet another, this one located near the base of this fallen stool simply so I don't have very far to move the heavy logs!
The wood also got very wet - this was how it looked on Christmas Eve, just after all the rain.
I unblocked this bit though, and the water subsided a little as the water flowed under the bridge instead of round it:
Of course, the wildlife carries on regardless - we've added a second bird feeder now, as we've not been in the woods as often with all the bad weather. Here's a Coal Tit feeding...
And a cheeky Pheasant admiring the view from the top of our firewood store...
The wild boar have been active too, with a new mud bath created:
And a muddy trail leading away from it into the trees...
We've also started to bring back logs to top up our firewood store at home. This is 2-3 weeks later than in last year, which is probably partly due to the mild weather and partly the improved draughtproofing at home.
Anyway, looks like it *might* be colder by the end of January, so maybe we'll get some snow pictures again soon...