Richard wanted us to create a spce for nature - specifically he wanted us to create a clearing in a rather crowded Sycamore plantation. Cutting down trees might seem like the very opposite of practical conservation work but Richard explained to us that we needed to thin the plantation so that light could reach the woodland floor allowing the ground flora to re-establish itself next spring.
We chose an area of the plantation that had a 60 year old Oak, some Ash an Elder and a Hawthorne in it but which was mostly really dense Sycamore - a few cm to 20cm in diameter and between 3m and 8m tall. Richard showed us how to work out which way a tree "wanted to fall" and how to cut it so that it did. We worked hard for about 2 hours and cleared a really big area.