If your reading this then you're probably bored of being stuck at home during lockdown and you've got bits of driftwood to use up.
iDEAS FOR SMALL STICKS
Each piece of driftwood needs a little bit of prep before you should paint on it or drill holes. You want to strip off the bark as little sand hoppers could be living behind it, you also want to dry it out in the sun (giving it a lighter bleached look). Or if you don't have the time, put in the oven on its lowest setting until its nice and dry. I would also go over each piece with some fine grit sand paper to loosen off the flakes and sand attached.
If you're drilling holes to thread string through then place another piece of wood under it and use a small drill bit first to reduce the risk of the wood snapping. If you don't have a drill then simply wrap the string/twine around the wood three times and using the end go under the last loop to keep it tight.
iDEAS FOR SMALL BROKEN PIECES
For these types of wall pieces, you need to use either a glue gun or a wood glue. Stay away from the expanding glues such as the gorilla glue because as the glue sets it could move the wood.
Before you start gluing the collage I would try different arrangements and only glue once your happy. Also try different backgrounds, maybe glue sand to a board and then wood on top of that. If you think that the glue might show in places then sprinkle some sawdust on top or mix it in, this allows the glue to blend into the wood.
With mirrors you need to glue onto the mirror frame and not the mirror its self as it wont stick. Try and overhang the wood onto the mirror so that the frame cant be seen. And if your going to use shells and starfish like in the photo above then please only pick up sundried pieces and don't take more than you need.
Bigger peices of driftwood
Each big piece of driftwood has its own character and you should take advantage of this. If it looks good standing up then that might be good for candles or a light.
I would suggest using lights instead of candles for your driftwood, candles need to be monitored and ideally you want to have a metal layer between the candle and wood. You can buy cheap rope style lights which can simply be wrapped around the wood and hung. If you do use candles then make holes using a hole saw and slowly chip out the inside with a chisel or flat head screw driver. Only use candles with metal outings or even better is glass holders.
Sometimes just the wood on its own is so unique that it just needs a clean and a stand. Another thing to do is cut away the bottom of a piece and see the grain. You might strike gold with a lovely hardwood, if that's the case then try and saw the wood in half and give it a good sand and oil.
Stay safe during the Cronovirus lockdown and please don't use tools that your not use to using. When your looking for driftwood be careful on the rocks and make sure someone knows where you are. Good luck, and please send me photos of what you've made!
Dont forget to explore my webstie if you love the sea.
Ecosia- search engine
How many times do you search something on google, like if a word is allowed in scrabble? Now imagine if every search added up to plant a new tree somewhere in the world. Well that's exactly what Ecosia does! Simply change your search provider to Ecosia and use it like any other search engine, I planted 40 trees in just a few weeks.
Tentree- clothing store
This remarkable company has planted over 42 million trees and has a target of 1 Billion by 2030. It sells high quality clothing in a range of ethical materials such as organic cotton, hemp, cork trims and more.
Etnies - Shoes
20 billion pairs of shoes are produced every year, that's more than 3.8 pairs of shoes per person every year! Etnies tackle this problem by producing shoes that last, if shoes lasted twice as long then that's 10 billion less pairs of shoes per year. And of corse they also plant a tree for every shoe sold!
Trinity Oaks- Wine
We all know that vineyards use up a lot of land, so Trinity Oaks have started to plant a new tree for every bottle sold and that's really added up! More than 23 million trees has defiantly out weighed the environmental impact of producing wine.
A BIT ABOUT ME
I hand build bespoke personalised coat racks using local Oak. The coat racks are made in my workshop in Devon and sent out in recycled packaging, I also plant a tree for every sale. That's a new tree planted here in Devon!
This little post is here to inspire the growth of new woodlands and show how easy it can be.
Cold Harbour Woods
Cold Harbour woods is a beautiful 13 acre ancient woodland full of rabbits, badgers, squirrels, roe deer and many more creatures. At dusk the rooks and crows form spectacular flying displays before dropping into the woods to sleep.
Our quiet woodland had a big loss in 2015 when 3 acres of Larch had to be removed to reduce the spreading of sudden Ramorum disease , but this was quickly replanted.
We could have simply replanted the area with a similar mono crop fast growing species used for fire wood, such as Ash or northern pine. However we wanted our pre-existing wildlife to grow, we also wanted the woodland to change colours throughout the season and support a variety of life on the floor.
The woodland is on a 15% gradient south facing hill making it a great drainage and light location. We choose our trees to match the quality of soil but also to create a mixture of reds, yellows and vibrant greens. You want to buy saplings at the age of 1 to 2 years, this is known to have the best success rate with roots at the right stage for adapting to the new soil quickly. When choosing what trees to plant use this woodland trust guide to help match the tree to the soil quality, climate and water availability.
There are 3 types of planting techniques. You want to plant each tree 2 around 2-3 meter apart or for a dense woodland 1-2 meters apart. Plant in a chessboard style for a more natural look.
Dig a small hole, just bigger than the root ball and deep enough to bury the tree up to its collar. Chop up the holes turf and place a small amount at the bottom of the hole, place the tree in the hole and gently push the rest of the turf over the roots. Not too firm or water can't penetrate into the roots but firm enough to keep the tree upright. Push a cane close to the tree stem through its roots until it is firmly in place, wrap a tree guard around both.
T Notched planting:
Using a spade make two deep cuts in the land forming the letter "T", then using the spade in the top of the T pry the vertical line up. Place the tree in between the two tufts of soil and lower back into the ground, gently apply a bit of pressure around the tree making sure it is firmly in place. Again you can push a cane in beside for a tree guard.
Slit planting: (The fastest)
Simply push your spade in deep and pull to one side opening up the ground. Slip the tree in front of the spade and pull the spade out. You can then apply pressure making sure the tree is in firmly and add a cane for a tree protector. This is the fastest way to plant a tree but can also cause damage when removing the spade. The roots will also struggle a little more as the soil is undisturbed and harder.
Funding and Useful links
The government have many different grants and even carbon sink payouts for planting trees. You can apply for the woodland creation grant which can pay up to £6,800 per acre if accepted. Another new scheme allows landowners to sell the rights of carbon capturing to the government. That means that as your young tree grow they capture CO2 which the government could purchase off you for the next 35 years. Register to the woodland carbon code and then apply for the woodland carbon guarantee.
Our woodland growing
My company Graindesigns, plants a tree here and in other locations for each new order. I create bespoke coat racks, house signs and i'm available for custom orders too. Visit my website here.
Thank you for reading, I hope to see your woodland pictures too!
Growing up on Southdown farm has always kept me connected to the land and the sea. My parents love birds and wildlife so they devoted a lot of time and effort to keeping the farm as wild as it could be whilst still making a living.
The current crisis with sudden ash die back has the potential to kill 80 million Ash trees throughout our woodlands. Ash trees play a vital role in our wildlife, from door mice to nesting birds. They are found in our hedgerows, gardens and woodlands, if they are not replaced then there could be a devastating impact on our wildlife.
By visiting local farms and gaining permission to plant new areas of trees I would like to try and decrease the impact of losing our Ash trees. A new area of native English trees would provide habitats to the wildlife that have recently lost there trees. New trees being planted also have widely recognised health benefits to us and the environment.
From today the 14th of April 2020 I will be planting a tree here in Devon for every new order. That means that when you buy a coat rack from me or a house sign, you will be helping me plant a new tree on a piece of land that hasn't seen a tree in a long time.
Below is an image from the food and research environment agency showing the signs of sudden ash dieback. If you suspect an Ash tree to show symptoms then please call 01904 465625 or the Forestry commission on 0131 314 641.