At the heart of Trengayor Woodworks is Trengayor Woods, a 19 acre broadleaf woodland in North Cornwall.
First planted in 2001, poor management and neglect saw a 90% failure rate of the native broadleaf saplings planted. I bought the land in 2004, and over the following winter re-planted 7,500 saplings over 12 acres to bring the plantation back to life.
Oak, Ash and Chestnut were the main species with Willow and Alder in the wet areas, and to create wind breaks. Birch, Beech, Rowan, Cherry, Maple, Hazel and Sycamore were also planted in lesser numbers, along with Spindle, Guelder Rose and Dogwood for further diversity. Re-planting was completed in February 2005.
Growing trees in a valley full of red and roe deer, a mile from the salty sea on the windy North Cornish coast has proved to be as challenging as might be expected. Creating shelter belts was critical in the early years of establishment, and tall tree guards kept deer damage to a minimum until the trees had got away.
15 years on and some of these trees are now 30 ft tall, with the canopy closing over and a young woodland emerging from a field of saplings. Squirrel damage and tree disease present further challenges, and there may not be many timber trees to harvest in my lifetime, but that was never the primary objective. Habitat creation and carbon sequestration come first and hopefully one day there will be timber of some value for future generations to use.