Woodland Pioneers Week 2011
The week began with hurricane warnings so no one was allowed to camp in the woods, but the weather gradually improved and only seriously rained right at the end when the tutors and cafe were packing up! Still, the week was great fun with many new skills being learnt and old skills being honed, new friendships forged and old friends giggling!

Click a workshop to scroll down the page to it:
Thanks to Kath, Tony, Keith Conner, Hywel Lewis and Andy McClements for the photos!
1 day workshop: Musical Instruments with Edward Acland and Mike Carswell
Edward and Mike helped the students to produce musical instruments, mainly percussion.

1 day workshop: Riven Oak Panels with Twiggy
Twiggy showed how boiled lengths of split oak can be riven (split) into thinner and thinner pieces until they become very pliable when kept damp. Rectangular frames were then made in groups and the riven oak woven onto the frame to make a panel. This method of riving oak is also used in the process of making oak swill baskets.

1 day workshop: Introduction to the Pole Lathe with Maurice Pyle and Peter Wood
Starting with a green, unseasoned log, the students worked through a variety of stages using a number of tools to create a unique turned item.

1 day workshop: Treen with Paula Keary
Paula guided everyone through the making of gypsy clothes pegs, coat hooks, gypsy flowers, spoons and tent pegs. Students used axes, draw knives and whittling knives to shape their beautiful pieces. These are great projects that can be done at home with very few tools and little time - although not as easy as they seem!

4 day workshop: Furniture with James Mitchel and Sam Ansell
A wide range of furniture was produced in this workshop, from stick chairs to high chairs, and from beds to sledges and shrink pots.

4 day workshop: Traditional Earthburn with Brian Crawley
This method of making charcoal is the old, traditional way. Similar in principle to other methods, but more artful. It needed to be watched constantly over the 36 hour period of the burn. A couple of bucket-fulls of fire were tipped down the hole in the middle, followed by more wood and a turf lid. The burn was shut down by dowsing with just the right amount of water and then removing the turf - enough water to extinguish but not too much to dampen the charcoal. A barrel and a small charcoal kiln were used and the produced charcoal compared.

4 day workshop: Oak Bridge with Ian Taylor and Sam Robinson
The woods were in desparate need of a decent bridge, so Ian Taylor led a group of well seasoned Woodland Pioneers to build a new one from oak!

Friday workshops:
On Friday students could take part in a range of 2-hour workshops, one in the morning, the other in the afternoon. The choices were willow weaving, hazel hurdles, tent pegs with a stock knife, log-to-box, tree spirit journeys, rope-making, spatulas, tool sharpening and tool care.

Around and About
Here are a few more photos of around and about the woods and hall...