Winter is the beginning of the woodland year and much of the winter is spent coppicing and preparing timber for summer projects. Occasional outings into the local community to deliver logs, lay a hedge or erect a fence occur but it is a time of hard physical work (which keeps you warm) in the woodland.
Bird song is fairly quiet save the tawny and little owls especially around full moon, and the occasional woodcock can be heard at dusk.
Ben’s apprentices begin in winter each year, and arrive with a jolt into the long dark nights and have a fast learning curve to adapt to simple living. This is a lifestyle choice and once taken, it is unlikely they will want to return to a life away from the woods.
Wild food is in short supply, save grey squirrels (grey squirrels cause severe damage to trees, if the numbers are not controlled) which are easier to see with the leaf gone from the trees.
Snow brings relief as magic descends upon the woodscape. This is the time for tracking, the deer are easy to follow and the coppice is too covered up to work – time for the sledge!