Saturday, February 9, 2013

A New Beginning


Welcome to my new blog, Tales From Fox Wood!

Fox Wood is a peaceful seven acre wood in the heart of deepest Cornwall. It's pretty hidden away, like a secret world, and it's hard to find even if you know where to look.

On this blog there will be lots of pictures, a few thoughts, but not too many words. I'm letting the pictures speak for themselves. I want lots of people to read my blog and hopefully be inspired - everyone's welcome.



So, welcome to my wood. It's in Cornwall, as I mentioned. Cornwall, in most people's minds, is famous for one thing: pirates!




But the truth is you won't find many pirates there these days. There are lots of surfers, and lots of down-to-earth people who are making their own quiet way in the face of economic meltdown.



In short - it's my kind of place! That's why we bought a wood there. Next month we will be moving to Cornwall from Denmark, where we live now. That's me, my wife Michelle, and our two daughters Jasmine and Sofia. They are very excited.



We won't be living in the wood - at least, not yet. My plan is to turn it into a working wood, with coppicing, charcoal making, wood turning and all the rest of it. 


First of all we'll be living in the town of Penzance, where the children will be going to school. Penzance is a medium-sized market town. We all feel right at home there and it has lots of shops like this one.



Fox Wood is a little distance away, not too far from this beach. I should be able to get there by bicycle, if need be. I could even walk.



It's not awfully far from the fishing village of Porthleven, so we should be able to get fresh fish when the boats come in.



And not far away is Land's End - the very tip of southern Britain. Would you believe me when I said there was a cat who sat at the very tip of Land's End and looked out across the sea towards America? I'm not joking!



Cornwall is surrounded by the ocean, which can sometimes be wild and dangerous. It's a place of old magic.



It's also a great place to just sit on a rock and look out to sea.



In the middle of Fox Wood there's a large field and I'm planning to turn this into a permaculture food forest - or forest garden. I want to work with nature, not against it. This is what a food forest looks like on paper.





So, as you can see, I have a lot of work to do. 

It's been a long time in the planning. I have had time to read a lot of books about what we are planning to do. This is just one bit of my bookshelf (the most interesting bit).



People think you have to be rich to do what we're doing, but you don't. The woodland itself cost about the same as a new family car.  

I like to get things that other people don't want or have thrown out. Today, for example, I found a nice double-glazed window in a dump. A lot of energy was used to make that window - energy that one day we won't have so readily available. One day it might be part of a house. Or greenhouse. 



I also picked up five wrought iron windows from some stable blocks that had been demolished. If nobody wants them, I'll have them. They are old - they don't make them like this any more.



So, as you can see, even though I am not even in the same country as my woodland yet, I am preparing for it. I am even growing trees in my flat.



Those are hawthorn cuttings, a horse chestnut tree and a small apple tree, all growing merrily in plastic bottles I found chucked in a hedge. One day, I hope, they'll be forming part of the rich tapestry of my woodland.

Thinking about the long road of energy descent we have ahead of us as global oil peaks and then declines isn't half as scary when you are doing something about making that ride less bumpy. I saw this installation in a window in Mousehole, says it all really ...