The rakes are made

On Sunday a wee group turned out to try their hand at making hay rakes for next month’s meadow cutting.
The tines were made by hammering some dry birch though a round hole.
The heads are ash and the handles some ash or hazel poles.
We’ve made all the design faults so we can tell you how not to make them and maybe make our next ones differently – however, the proof will be next month when we try them out on the meadow at Gullet.



3 plots

As part of the Plantlife survey the plants in 3 plots are counted.
On Sunday they chose a wet grassland, drier meadow and some older woodland.
Hopefully someone will remember where they are next year for the repeat.

Maybe you can spot the dog rose.


Donner und Blitzen (again)

On Sunday 25th May I came to Wooplaw to help complete a Wildflower Counts Survey, this is part of a national survey of plants in the UK (see Plantlifes website for more info)

On my arrival it was torrential rain with thunder, this seems to be a common theme and it is suggested perhaps this should be my last visit to Wooplaw!  It did however give us the chance to eat some chocolate biscuits and then the sun came out.

3 plots were chosen in different habitats which were wet grassland, the drier meadow and an older part of the woodland.

We smelt the medicinal aroma of meadow sweet, learnt how to tell an early violet from a dog violet, pondered over how large and orange the scales need to be to make a fern a ‘scaly male’ and saw a large red damselfly in the grasses by the pond.

Lots of beautiful flowers will soon be out at Wooplaw


Ali Murfitt




Happy Mother’s Day

Today somewhere among the mists a group of hardy people started our annual willow harvest.
The weather had been fine recently and we’d even got the first pussy willows blossoming. In Edinburgh the willow trees were all covered so we’re a week or two behind.






I think everyone came back out of the mist at the end.



Meanwhile in the cabin at Bigwood there was a bushcraft first aid course going on.

Nice to see the cabin full and we hope you don’t need to use your skills at Wooplaw.

Plenty happening.

Ready to go

Ready for Sunday at TVFF on Peebles Green as well as NaiLit.
Come along and have a go with it and cut a slice off a log.
The saw was made especially for us last week in Sheffield.

Conkers on Saturday and we’re making a coracle which some unsuspecting soul is testing in the Tweed on Sunday.

Come and join us on Tweed Green over the weekend

Here’s the LINK to the rest of the program.

Music, food and a bar in the marquee on Saturday night (7:30)

Dave did the work

And I tested it!

Here’s the sawhorse for the Tweed Valley Forest Festival under construction. Mkll with larger holes than the first model.
Dave did the boring bit and I was type cast for the shapely legs bit.
Tested with a log as a rather high bench.
We’ve ordered a new  two person saw so you can all come along and cut a placemat off the end of a log. The Nailit will also be on it so come and take part.
Conker Championships on the Saturday and sawing and Nailing on Sunday.


Wooplaw troops are making a coracle over the weekend on Tweed Green.
The Beggar Girls will be playing on Saturday night in the marquee – tickets at the door. BBQ and bar so what more do you need?

Two part saw horse.

Nearly ready

testing times

Just Testing


Plantlife walk

On Sunday we managed a great walk, partly in the rain to see what would be involved if we took on a Plantlife square or two.
Basically we’ll need to record whether we find 99 different plants and then see how they change over the years.
Ali Murfitt came and showed us what to do and we found lots but didn’t necessarily  record them.
We’re going to register and then hopefully have some plant ID sessions and get recording.
Dave H took these pictures.

Here’s the LINK

Getting ready for the TVFF

Here’s the big saw with new Wooplaw Ash handles. Emma Chapman let us have two which her parents had for years. The woodworms had been enjoying the handles though. The new ones came from the big ash bough which fell near the path from the carpark to the cabin.

Ready for the new Scottish Log Sawing Championship at Peebles on October 20th.

Rules and Regs being worked out and the saw is getting a try out at the Community Woodlands Conference in August. It’ll be fun taking it to Skye as foot passengers.

We’ll see how we get on and you can all have a shot at the festival.

Is it Summer?

The weather seems to think so and so do the cherry trees at Gullet Wood.

Tasty too after the photo was taken.

The fruit trees planted by the Galashiels Rotary Club seem to be thriving although a bit young yet for fruit.

There’s a lovely new Rowan tree planted down near the roundhouse so quite a lot to look for if you go around the Gullet Trail.

Sandy reckons that the bird you can hear but never see from the picnic table near the pond is a Grasshopper Warbler. A bit like a fishing reel being wound in. Hear one HERE.


Just right


Bill Hogarth has been around and done the second strimming of the year and the paths really are inviting just now.
The three marked trails have all been cut and it’s great getting around them.

The millions of tadpoles have turned into millions of little frogs so watch as you walk near axehead pond.

Here’s the path at Gullet just down from the car park where the dry stone wallers are coming to do some more work on Sunday.