Sixteen-year-old Andrew Clay started with Dales Young Rangers in April 2018 and his volunteering has contributed towards completing his Duke of Edinburgh Award. He is now working towards achieving the top John Muir Award at Conserver level.
Here, Andrew gives his account of a task day in September: woodland maintenance at Millennium Woods, near Hebden, on the River Wharfe.
Our task was to cut down dead young ash trees which had succumbed to ash dieback disease.
First, we removed tree guards and stakes in order to tidy the site. Then we cut down the dead trees.
For the young trees with thin trunks, we could simply cut horizontally through the trunk. For the thicker trees, however, we had to be careful to control where they landed when felled so that they didn’t damage any of the healthy trees.
We did this by cutting a V-shape through the trunk, with someone pushing on the tree to help it fall in the right direction. This also took the weight of the tree off the saw so that the saw didn’t jam in the cut. A good bit of teamwork!
I’m looking forward to going back to the wood to plant replacement trees.
Andrew (pictured below) has been a Dales Young Ranger for 3 years.
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