Land Rover Dis­cov­ery

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - THEO FORDSAGERS CON­TRIB­U­TOR

If I had lived 100 years ago, I would def­i­nitely have had a horse. A big shaggy one, prob­a­bly quite long in the tooth, with mas­sive hooves and an easy, lol­lop­ing de­meanour. He’d be a re­li­able old thing, a quiet coun­try­side com­pan­ion and a hauler of many big things. But I ex­pect he would snuf­fle dis­ap­prov­ingly if I asked him to ferry me from Cam­bridgeshire to Wales and back with a moun­tain bike. Or pull-start a mate’s Corsa. Or lug home half a tree. A 21st cen­tury bump­kin re­quires a less fleshy beast of bur­den, and that usu­ally takes the form of an old Land Rover.

If you’re lucky enough to own a log burner, you might recog­nise my need to sal­vage trees from the road­side, es­pe­cially if you share my re­luc­tance to ac­tu­ally pay any­one for fire­wood when you can find it grow­ing pretty much wher­ever you go. For col­lect­ing this bounty, a ve­hi­cle with a ca­pa­cious load­bay, up­rated sus­pen­sion, and four­wheel drive to deal with the bog­gi­est verges, is just the ticket.

Gales brought down trees, hedgerows and pow­er­lines all over the coun­try a few weeks ago, and while the law tech­ni­cally frowns upon peo­ple re­mov­ing wood from the side of the pub­lic high­way, I’m told that re­mov­ing gen­uine ob­sta­cles is dif­fer­ent, mak­ing the hours just af­ter stormy weather an ideal time to go in search of na­ture’s cast-offs. The Disco needed a run and my wood­pile was look­ing di­min­ished, so I hopped in and went for a for­age.

I found a newly de­mol­ished tree within a few miles, so I pulled on to the verge and loaded the rear with good, chunky branches. A lit­tle fur­ther and an­other jack­pot was spilled across the road, caus­ing cars to swerve.

The Land Rover was half full with a cou­ple of weeks’ worth of free warmth – and prob­a­bly a com­mu­nity of an­gry creepy crawlies – within half an hour.

Our work done, steed and mas­ter gal­loped home. I of­fered it a car­rot as an ex­pres­sion of my thanks, but he wouldn’t eat it while I was look­ing.

Shame.

Plenty of room to stack a good haul of fire­wood.

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