Welcome to the Blog of Cutler´s Wood, an Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland in the Kent North Downs AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

Cutler´s is 42 hectares (ca. 103 acres) of native broadleaf woodland managed primarily as wildlife and flora habitat but also to provide some timber from coppice rotation which is used for traditional fencing and woodfuel. Adjacent to Cutler´s Wood is Cutler´s Farm, made up of the farmyard with barns and 6 hectares (ca. 15 acres) of pasture land, which presently is used for sheep grazing.

Bordering onto the Forestry Commission´s Kings Wood to the south west, privately owned Stanner´s Wood to the north west, The Woodland Trust´s Park Wood to the north and the privately owned Ridge Wood and Felborough Wood to the east, this area makes up over 2000 acres of connected woodland and one of the largest woodlands in the South East of England. This whole area was once part of a royal hunting forest for deer and boar.

Edward Hasted´s map of Cutler´s area published 1798 but showing the area apparently around 1778. Cutler´s Farm seems not to have existed yet.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Looking at the last post I see that has been over a year since I last wrote anything. Last September we took part in the Weald Wood Fair which was interesting, even if it didn't earn any money after costs were taken into account. There was certainly a fantastic atmosphere at the show and the live music on Saturday night was great. I think that this fair is an excellent opportunity for everybody who has anything to do with woods or timber to come together once a year. I did buy two oak huts there which were built at Plumpton College in Flimwell during oak frame building courses by students. These were transported to Cutler's and erected by the very capable people at Sussex Oak Frame Builders. These huts have been put up in the woods to act as shelters and hides for watching wildlife. Martin and John have been busy in December and January felling some sweet chestnut and then saw milling it to clad the roof and sides of the huts. The result can be seen in the pictures and I think is very good.  Being made of oak and chestnut, these huts will probably be around long after we have gone.

It was in November that we had visitors of the not welcome kind at the farmyard. Martin had bogged his Land Rover down at a neighbouring farm one evening. Normally the Land Rover was used to block in our timber trailer in the barn and would be chained together with the trailer. The next morning the trailer was gone. The thieves had come through King's Wood and cut a hole in the fence at the end of our field and got the trailer out, even though the timber grab was hung on a large log. It is obvious that the thieves are locals who know the area very well and had been watching our farmyard for some time. These people are the scourge of the British countryside but unfortunately the police seem powerless to do anything at all. In our case the police took down details but made no effort to try follow any tracks through King's Wood.

Woodcock have been quite prevalent this winter, there are certainly more than last winter. We believe these birds to be migrants from Russia and Eastern Europe.

We have been coppicing another two acres this winter and things are developing nicely. It is amazing how previously dormant seeds suddenly germinate once light gets onto previously shaded out areas. An area we cut two years ago for example was full of foxgloves last spring for the first time in decades.