Crabwood Clearings / by Graham Dew

Logpile © Graham Dew 2013

There are virtually no unmanaged spaces in this country today, and this is just as true for nature reserves as it is for farmland and commercial forests. I've often mentioned Crabwood in posts, a small area of woodland that serves as a nature reserve a couple of miles west of Winchester. I've been visiting this area for the best part of three decades now, and in that time I've seen many clearings. Large trees are felled, coppices trimmed and new growth either in the form of plants or saplings take their place as the canopy of trees is removed or grows back.

Quatrefoil Stump © Graham Dew 2013
Quatrefoil Stump

It is hard to see the steady growth of the woodland; the rides are cleared on eight or sixteen year cycles and so one becomes accustomed to the layout of the trees. When an area is cleared it is very noticeable and sudden, and to my eyes, a very interesting place to explore. One particular ride has been extensively cleared of its small trees this winter. There has been a lot of activity by the foresters in recent weeks, and now, as spring starts, it is the turn of nature as new flowers and sapling start to shoot upwards. Soon the logs, stakes and trimmings will be removed and nature will be left to its own devices once again. As it does so, there will be plenty to reward the visitor who spends time to look.

Caught in the Trimmings © Graham Dew 2013
Caught in the Trimmings

Virtually all of these pictures were taken on the G3 with the 20mm lens. My camera bag is becoming lighter these days. I usually only carry the 20mm and 45mm lenses and try make sure I'm not carrying anything that won't be used. If it is sunny I will carry a small reflector. If the light is not so good I will take flash and diffusers in a separate large bag, but in general I’m happier when I carry less equipment.

Coppicing © Graham Dew 2013