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.