Martin Brockman is a local artist who often works with wood. He comes regularly to the woods to lead workshops on creating life-size withy sculptures and wood-carving birds. No previous experience needed. If you’re interested, keep an eye on the website or contact email@example.com
Always good to see Friday Club back in the woods – a group of flexi and home-educating families – all getting stuck into life in the woods. In the mornings they help out with different jobs – garden, wood-work, forestry, cooking lunch – or spend time with the Friday Morning Craft Group who share their skills with the children. In the afternoons the children prepare drama and music for our community celebrations – winter solstice, may day etc. They also seem to fit in quite a bit of rushing around having fun.
The spring arrived just when we needed it. Members of the wood of all ages gathered to encourage spring by planting hedge-row plants and tree saplings…Cedars, Hawthorns, Giant Sequoias.
We also repaired and improved the sheltered fire circle for a new group of girls doing the right of passage “roots and wings”.
We made a balcony for Sussex’s first ever horreo.
And we ate good food and had a lot of fun.
Member volunteers – and a good sprinkling of interested new people – met for a cold day of woodland stewardship on Saturday. We cleared ditches, made 100 shingles for the new woodhouse, made stakes and binders for a new hedge coming next month and finally got the hurdles in the ground to create a clearer thresh-hold into the woods so that visitors are more clearly prompted to go to the cafe to pay for access to the woods! Hoping it will help….and thanks to everyone who came on Saturday.
With original music, drama and lanterns by Joe Skelton and Bea Everett working with Friday Club kids and then fantastic contributions from all our members in terms of food and song around the fire after the ceremonial burning of the lanterns…and now it’s getting lighter….
Maddie Jessel, our current artist-in-residence, led a workshop with children of the resident enterprises, to make decorations for the tree which will go in front of the cafe this year. It involved a lot of glitter, pasta farfalle and a ball of string. Come and check out the results.
Under Oak has always been the favourite wild camping spot of John Macbeth – DT teacher at Uckfield College. And it’s about to get much better. Mr Macbeth came to us with the proposal of bringing a group of 15 BTEC construction students to the site each Friday afternoon. We suggested that they could help us make a new shelter at Under Oak which will allow small school groups to come and camp in this beautiful spot in the woods. We have prepared the site ready. And we are excited about starting work with the group after half-term.
We have finally taken down the old sign on the road – after 3 and a half years here. And with the creative and practical help of our friend and colleague, Remy Small, who brought us the much loved ‘stick sign’ in 2015, we have made a new 3-D sign to name the woods as you pass on the A272. There will then be a more detailed sign with a basic welcome message and space to advertise the various enterprises based at the wood. Hope you like it….
On Friday mornings in the cafe, there is a scene of busy hands. And some coffee and cake as well. For many years, there has been a Friday Morning craft group meeting in the cafe at Wilderness Wood. Some of its members are also up for doing projects with our Friday Club children. This term Jeannie Bates has taken on the challenge and is making a textile art-work to go up in the cafe. Watch the space above the door between the two halves!
Many thanks to everyone who came along – was another good day of working together. Making shingles for a roof of a new wood house and shingles to create a thresh-hold in the woods. Good lunch and cake as well. We won’t be hosting volunteering days in November and December – unless you want to help with Christmas! But back into the usual routine of the first Saturday of each month from January.
Friday Club has been running for 3 years now. Nearly an institution. Most of the families involved have been coming that whole time – and some new blood started this term as well. The spirit of the day is that the families – who home educate or flexi-school – are on the team for the day and help out with work around the woods, share skills and knowledge and have a lot of fun. Each term is different depending on the season and the people on the team. Wilderness Wood is very grateful for all the energy and creativity they bring to the woods.
It was a good welcome back after the holidays. Everyone full of energy for work! We removed a dangerous board-walk, completed the Cook House decking, stacked wood, collected and cooked with apples and chipped away at the target shingle total for the forth-coming Wood House.
Our annual working party for members was a great success. Over 50 of us between the ages of 2 and 70. With a huge range of talents, skills and experiences to bring to the woods. There were lots of great projects to get stuck into – Spanish Steps for the Meeting House; a balcony for the cook-house; shingles for the new wood-house – coming next year; a lovely new pizza oven; a green knight wood sculpture and a science fiction take on Robin Hood as the end-of-week entertainment. And lots of enjoyable meals, cakes, workshops – such as gargoyle making and wildlife sculpture – and music – with a particular thank you to the singer-song-writer Bara Smekova for being part of the week again this year. If you’d like to come next year, contact firstname.lastname@example.org