2019 is go...

It’s all go as we make the most of the dry weather and hopefully with the cold weather approaching, ground conditions will continue to be favourable.

Ash Coppice completed using the harvester.

Ash Coppice completed using the harvester.

There’s been a bit of everything going on!… the harvester is out and cutting coppice as well as doing some work on more sensitive sites. Timber is being hauled out and is stacked up ready for sale, and not a mark left on the ground as to where we’ve been travelling either!

And to cap it all off we still are still enjoying some early morning’s undertaking deer management commitments.

A cracking start to the year and we look forwards to continuing to work with clients both established and new!

Quick update...

A busy few moths since our last update…. to include an updated website!

The variety included some pond work, timber extraction, scrub clearance prior to felling timber and old building demolition to allow a disused paddock to be grazed once again. The tree shear has also been busy, coppicing a hedge to make taccess onto a busy main road safer.

The harvester’s been out on some big Larch thinning. A first thinning of a young hardwood plantation has opened the wood up, expanded the rides and improved accesibility, especially in the run up to winter with the increased rainfall.

Luckily we had a bit of assistance moving the harvester - a little quicker than our normal tractor and low loader…


Deer management is also continuing apace, now that the Doe season’s are opening we are starting to get onto herd management to allow for woodland regeneration and healthy herds.

Recent works update

The last few months have been busy!  Works sites have been particularly tricky to operate in/access due to the amout of rain we have had over the last few months. Opportunities to extract timber have taken  when site conditions allow. Despite all the rain we have continued to cut in anticipation of the ground drying out.

Ash Coppice

Recent works include cutting some overstood ash coppice which will be used in the estate biomass and the excess for firewood

Coppice plot before works

Coppice plot before works

Coppice plot after felling smaller stems to leave some standards.

Coppice plot after felling smaller stems to leave some standards.

The timber produce will be left until conditions dry out with extraction later in the spring to minimise damaging the soil structure.

Plantation thinning/respacing

A thinning operation was undertaken on a SSSI to allow more light to the forest floor. We also respaced a christmas tree plantation that had been left since it's original planting. This meant the trees were of poor quality as they had all been drawn up , the respacing should allow them to 'bulk out' to improve the potential timber yield.

Hardwood thinning

Hardwood thinning

Xmas tree re-spacing

Xmas tree re-spacing


When ground conditions and site's have allowed we've extracted timber where we can. The majority of this has gone to the fuel the estate's own biomass boiler.

Timber extraction

Timber extraction

Tree shearing

We've had the tree shear out again. Reducing the height of some hedges and coppicing others to ground level.

Hedge before reduction

Hedge before reduction

Looking back up the hedge after reducing

Looking back up the hedge after reducing

The new equipment has dramatically changed how we work, with larger compartments and trees now being handled efficiently. We are getting more proficient with the harvester and it surprises us each time with the production and capacity provided by such a small machine! We will do a full update on the equipment in a separate post once we have used it for a bit longer, but already it has tripled the output and meant we don't have to manhandle or reduce so many big logs! always welcome.

If you have any questions about the equipment or would like to discuss how we can help in your woodlands please feel free to give us a call or send an email Contact Us

For more photo's please go to our facebook page here where you can see these and photo's of other works.

LEADER grant approval

At the end of October we were in fortunate position of being approved for a LEADER grant to assist in funding our forestry growth. This has meant we are in the process of expanding of capabilities through reinvesting in some more equipment.

What will the LEADER grant provide to customers?

The funding has allowed us to invest in larger extraction equipment, meaning we can move/handle larger timber in greater volumes meaning more efficiency for both ourselves and our customers. We still strive for minimal impact on the ground with extraction equipment having large flotation tyres to leave the lightest footprint. The larger capacity also means we are able to move more timber in one go which means if you have a longer lead from the wood to your preferred stacking site there are less trips back and forwards.

One of the other significant changes is the purchase of a mechanised harvester. This is mechanical harvesting head based on a 5.5 ton excavator. This give us a low impact harvesting system ideally suited to sensitive sites and first thinnings where access is limited. We still manually cut alongside this machine on larger trees but the excavator gives us the ability to leave a tidy site ready for extraction with less manual effort = faster/cheaper for the customer. Paired with our alpine tractor and 3 ton trailer this set up is phenomenal in first thinnings not suitable/economical for large harvesters.

We were exceptionally lucky to have assistance from BRCC in compiling our LEADER application, with thanks to both Julie and Ros who kept us on the straight and narrow and ensured the process was as smooth and painless as these things can be.

If you would like to discuss what we are able to undertake with the equipment please feel free to give us a call or email Contact Us.

For pictures of the equipment as it arrives over the next few moLeadernths please keep an eye on our facebook page Red Kite Facebook



Woodland thinnings and opening up a pond

Recent completion of some delayed first thinning.

A recent job (aside from battling the unusual summer weather) has seen us completing a first thinning of a hardwood plantation established in the 90's. By completing this work we have achieved a number of factors:

  1. removed poorer trees from the crop
  2. given remaining trees more space to grow/expand into
  3. provisionally identified final crop trees to be favoured in later thinnings
  4. improved the access for wildlife management
  5. improved accessibility into the wood by opening up a track and allowing it to dry out
  6. extracted a the timber which will now go into the firewood market (providing a return to the landowner)
  7. not made a mess!

The work was completed by hand cutting racks into the wood, brash was tidied to the side of these to facilitate subsequent access and keep the site tidy. A further selective thin was then conducted inbetween the racks and this timber recovered tot he racks. All the felled timber was then extracted to the edge of the woodland using our alpine tractor and 3t forwarding trailer, (minimising any damage and rutting in the wood) and then we brought in larger equipment to move it to roadside.


From roadside the timber will be sold for firewood but it is now in an accessible place for timber lorries to get to.

Pond regeneration

Continual works include the restoration/regeneration of some farm ponds.

We have been cutting back overgrown trees (mainly willow) from the edge of the pond and extracting them to let light back into the pond as well as stopping leaf litter and branches from being deposited in the pond.The photo's below give some idea as to the start and finish points (there is still a bit to do though!).


For more images of these and of other works please visit our facebook page here



Woodland works

Back in the woods with making the most of the longer daylight hours to get on top of woodland works (in amongst the good weather days for drone flying), we've been doing a bit of everything recently - variation is the spice of life as they say! Recent works include:

  1. planting 4000 hedging plants to screen some infrastucture works as well as providing shelter for stock

  2. laying a hedge. This stops it looking like a row of lollipops as well as providing better shelter (stopping the wind from blowing through the base of the hedge) and creating a stock/people proof barrier.

  3. some first thinning of a young plantation (approx 15-20 years old). We do this in a variety of ways depending upon the landowners priorities. Recent work was to open up a wood to promote the development of final crop trees and provide space for game birds without making the wood to cold.

  4. ride widening. This aids with access tracks by allowing airflow and light to reach the forest floor, helping to dry up wet patches and letting light to the base of the canopy. A fringe benefit is that it makes deer management easier as high seats can be placed at track intersections with a greater coverage and earlier warnign of approaching deer.

This is just a selection of the recent works we have undertaken for customers. We have also undertaken scrub clearance, dead tree removal but unfortunatley have less photo's of these works (concentrating to much on the job at hand!). We are also still delivering firewood which is more relevant after the hail showers experienced today, if there are any works you would like to undertake on your woodland please feel free to contact us. We are always happy to come and have a look and give an idea as to what may be required and how we can help.

End of year update summary

We’ve been particularly busy over the last few months and while we have managed to update our Facebook page a bit more regularly, the news section here has taken a bit of a back seat when posting updates! As such we thought a little summary update would be interesting (pictures included) to show you what has been keeping us busy and also demonstrate the range of work we undertake and differing pieces of equipment we use/have access to as and when the job requires. If you have any questions or would like some similar work undertaking please feel free to drop us a line either through the contact page Contact Us or old school with a phone call.

Log Splitting

Starting off with some log splitting for a customer – this was all oversize oak that we first broke down using our 17 ton tractor splitter and then brought the processor in to cut/spplit it further into manageable 10″ logs ready for the fire. Our photography is worse than our work so unfortunately it was a bit dark when we took the photo of the log pile we produced, but suffice to say it should see the winter out, and a bit!

Small tractor feeds big tractor

Scrub clearance

Some different requirements initially with the tractor and chipper on a steep bank. This was to open up/return park land to its intended state while also having the added bonus of opening up a track which should allow it to dry out quicker and thereby prolonging it’s lifespan.


Bank work to clear hawthorn

Semi finished state

We have also had a tracked mulcher back onto a job where we cleared a decent area of scrubland to return to a useable field for grazing. The photo’s below show the machine as well as what we were workingour way through (which covered the whole site) and the finished fields – less their initial reed and hawthorn covering!

The tracked mulcher on a SSSI reed bed – making sure we don’t sink!

A clear path through the scrub

Before and after in the same shot…

The finished article – not a hawthorn bush in sight!

Felling and Extraction

More recently we have been busy felling some larger trees on a golf course. Here our lightweight equipment has come into its own, protecting the fairways from damagewhilst still being able to shift a significant amount of timber. The sale of all of this timber covered our bill so in effect the work was nil cost to the customer! As we say ‘we may have small kit but our output is still pretty mighty!’ The last photo in this run is of the amount of timber we cut/extracted in a 9 day period all the while staying out of the way of the odd stray golf ball.

Timber of the fairway

Tread lightly when on the course!

Small kit but Mighty output

Timber Haulage/Firewood

To keep up with our own firewood requirements we’ve also been updating our stocks of timber. Bringing in a slightly bigger trailer than normal (11 tons) we managed to haul some local timber back to the yard. This will all be split and stored over the coming months to fully season in anticipation of being sold next winter (17/18). We still have stocks of sesoned hardwood left for this winter, so please give us a call to arrange delinery and ensure the fires burn bright over Christmas.

Larger timber extraction kit

Some wiggly timber for firewood processing….

Canopy Raise

Our last photo in this montage…..

We were recently asked to raise the lower branches along a roadside, this was to try and stop lorries from removing them with their bodywork! Ahectic few days in hi viz saw us lift approximatley half a mile of roadside trees with the use of a MEWP access platform. This amde the work both safer and quicker for all involved. Branch material was chipped back into the hedgeline to leave a tidy verge and hopefully will ensure the trees remain damage free for a good few years from any passing lorries.


MEWP Canopy Raise

We think that sums up some of the things we’ve been up to recently and we would like to thank all our customers in 2016 and look forwards to working with many of them again in 2017. If you have any projects you would like our assistance with please feel free to get in touch and we wish you all a Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.

New Equipment

We are continuously striving to improve the service and value for money we are able to offer our customers and this involves investing in new equipment to make us more efficient in the work we do. As well as improving the finished product this equipment invariably saves time (and therefore clients money), as well as our body – allowing us to do more in a day!

This recent investment comprises of 2 main pieces – a new forwarding trailer and a post knocker to go onto the alpine tractor.

Post Knocker

The post knocker has already proved it’s worth, going out on a job the very same day we took delivery. A small package it still packs quite a punch with a 180kg weight putting in posts far quicker than we could manage by hand.

New equipment

Compact post knocker

Its small dimensions mean that we can get the machine into small paddocks and onto sites that are not suited to larger farm based equipment. On this particular job we had to go through a gap in the hedge of the customers garden, which you can just see to the front left of the tractor.

New Equipment

Threading through the garden

Forwarding Trailer

We have also upgraded out forwarding trailer to make the most of the power the tractor has. The new trailer is able to carry up to 3 tons but with the flotation tyres still leaves minimal impact of its passing.

Dog sheltering from the sun

Dog sheltering from the sun

Oak trunk being recovered

Oak trunk being recovered

The whole set up is still easy to transport as we had it custom made, it cleverly shrinks to fit onto our flatbed and can be towed to site by us.

New equipment

Loaded up for movement to site

If you would like to talk to us about the new equipment and any operations we can undertake using it, please feel free to drop us a line.

Benefits of Aerial Imagery

There are numerous benefits of aerial imagery in modern precision agriculture. A recent study from Russia showed how a reduction of fertiliser applied to a field by 20% was possible through the use of a drone like ours.

The drone that we use to capture images

The drone that we use to capture images for Precision Agriculture.

You can watch a short video summarising the study here Fertiliser reduction by 20% At 3:29 long the video is easy to watch while having a break from paperwork.

The video also demonstrates how modern technology can work alongside old technology – in this case the tractor and use of tractor driver ability to create straight tramlines or lack of!

Benefits of Drones/Precision Agriculture explained by Ohio University

We also came across this slightly longer video (7:19) produced by Ohio University Drone Benefits explained.  This video outlines some of the uses and associated advantages from using UAV’s in agriculture and how images taken from above can help decide future farm plans for cropping and management. Whilst a bit long winded it does demonstrate the different uses and advantages that aerial imagery provide. Whether you would like to also look at potential soil type or map crop health using Near Infra Red cameras there are all sorts of possibilities.

The end goal from all of this is to provide the farmer with more information that allows them to grow their crops more efficiently by targeting fertiliser/chemical applications where they are required and can give the most benefit whilst minimising both financial and environmental costs.

If you have any queries on using a UAV to assist with your farm/crop management plans, please feel free to contact us either from the site or through email/phone. Details of which can be found here. We are more than happy to discuss bespoke options for aerial imagery, if you would like to view something other than your fields and forests from above.

Timber forwarding

We are starting timber forwarding for a customer so as to build up their stock of firewood in anticipation of this winter.

Timber forwarding with Alpine tractor and crane

Timber forwarding

Although this may seem a little bit early to start collecting timber for the winter it does allow the stacks time to season. The key reason for this is to reduce the moisture content of the log prior to burning. This means that the firewood is just providing heat from the combustion process rather than losing energy by evaporating excess moisture out of the log prior to combustion = less heat in the room!

Small Timber Forwarding Kit still equals Big Effect


The equipment we use allows us to bring in larger pieces of timber (which is more efficient) which can then be processed into firewood at the customers chosen location, this also minimises multiple handling and thereby cost to the customer.

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It is surprising just how much we can shift in a few hours, even with our low impact kit, the photos above show what was recovered over the course of a day and this is despite quite a long drive from the woods to the timber stacks.

Some of the benefits of the equipment we run are:

  1. We can get to smaller parcels of woodland that may not be accessible for bigger equipment. This allows us to extract the valuable timber and recover it for you, with minimal fuss and mess, direct to where you need it.
  2. Low cost of transporting the equipment to and from site.
  3. The equipment is particularly stable on steep slopes and undulating ground. Safer for us and you.
  4. We can do everthing from felling the trees, extracting and recovering the timber to a specified site and then converting the tree lengths into useable firewood.

If you would like to discuss any woodland operations please feel free to Contact Us