Friday, 25 July 2008

Early start for foresters

My village of Gunnislake sprawls out over the western slope of the steep V-shaped valley through which the Tamar heads south towards Plymouth and the English Channel. Across on the Devon side the banks are heavily wooded and the precipitous rocky outcrops so densely covered with foliage form a truly spectacular outlook for local residents. Almost all the trees directly opposite my cottage are oak and other hardwoods and this part of the woodland is unlikely to be felled anytime soon if ever. But the forest isn't all of the amenity type and there are some substantial areas of softwood over there which are a commercial resource. Today, on and off, there have been a couple of people with chainsaws doing some felling. I first heard that characteristic snarl at about 7.20 this morning (!) but a near neighbour reckons they had started some time before that.

If there are two sounds I would be happy not to hear where I live it is that of (a) chainsaws and (b) strimmers. However the reality is that I do live close to a working woodland and thoroughly understand the need for forestry contractors to get in and make good use of their time. Really and truly then no problem for me. Now if it had been a private individual cutting down a tree in their garden at such an early hour I wouldn't have been too pleased!

Interestingly, apart from traffic on the main road through the village, and the occasional low flying jet, we don't fare too badly with noise pollution so that the occasional sound of chainsaw or strimmer is all the more noticeable when it shatters the peace. We can content ourselves with the fact that we are living in the here and now and not in Victorian times when the village would have reverberated with the sound of copper mining, granite quarrying and brick making. It really hummed with industry once but much of the evidence of this has now disappeared under the fast growing greenery that is so typical of the Tamar Valley.

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