Sure enough, they had been coppicing and laying hedge and so I helped myself to a few pieces of straight ash, a bit of hawthorn and a couple of thin sections of birch.
Though I was only there for ten minutes or so, it was really nice to be out and about. It happens to be a favourite dog walking spot and I got some odd looks from the locals who must have wondered why I was carting an armful of wood to the boot of my car with a bow saw on my back. I did feel a bit conspicuous and furtive (especially after listening to a radio show last week about the increased numbers of people stealing wood from private and public woods in order to keep their wood burning stoves going) and it was one of those situations when I wished someone would actually ask me what I was up to so I could have said, "It's alright, I have permission from the wardens" and feel a little more 'legitimate'.
Anyway, I brought it home and tried to split the hazel first, but it was rotten inside - the texture of wet sand and full of grubs - which is a shame as it looked a nice colour.
So next I split out some of the ash and set about carving a spoon.