Saturday 4th Feb '17
February Stewardship Saturday
We layed a new hedge – under the guidance of Tom Simmons, forester. And stacked more wood…..Come and see what a difference it has made to the light and views around the paddocks and marquee.
We layed a new hedge – under the guidance of Tom Simmons, forester. And stacked more wood…..Come and see what a difference it has made to the light and views around the paddocks and marquee.
Luśka Mengham, ex-resident of the wood, led a guided walk to explore identification of trees in winter without their leaves. They had a great morning of stomping around the woods and stopping at different specimens to look at different clues – including bark, buds and overall shape.
Andrew Coates has been coppicing and making gates out of chestnut at Wilderness Wood for 25 years. He now runs his own woodland products business at the woods , including selling and installing gates, fencing, trellises. Frank lives at the woods and is helping Andy make a number of chestnut gates needed for use at the woods – the chestnut will end up where it grew.
The hardy ones turn up for volunteering in January. We were killing rhododendra (excellent work for 11 and 12 year olds), fencing the lower paddock ready for sheep and stacking wood. Everyone was rewarded with extra big lunch and a small number of delicious cup-cakes made by the 7 year olds on the team.
Members of Wilderness Wood gathered at 3pm on a day where the sun only seemed to be shining in Hadlow Down. We lit the individual lanterns and huge sun lantern which had been prepared by Friday Club and After-school Club and then set off down into the woods guided by Tess Garrett of Suitcase Theatre and her flame-bearing family! We chanted some of the way down to give us heart and then became silent as we entered the misty lower areas of the woodland. Through the silence, came the sound of the girls in Roots and Wings singing to guide us to their camp near Woodglade, where they had prepared a huge moon lantern and poetry about the moon. We then headed back in the dusk up to the area in front of the Meeting House where Dan had prepared a ‘pyre’ on which we set fire to the lanterns and sang the Halsway Carol about winter solstice. The celebration of the longest night continued with home-made mince-pies, mulled cider and apple juice and lots of contributions by the community. Steve Martinez started off the music around the fire and we had a lovely evening of songs and instrumental musics by musicians of all ages – including a surprise Russian song. Many thanks to everyone for making it such an enjoyable way to see in the winter. Photography by Beth Mercer.
We have been really lucky with the sunshine on our two busiest weekends of the year. Lots of christmas trees sold, chestnuts eaten, christmas decorations made. As well as the sunshine, many thanks to all the stall-holders and musicians who helped create such a festive atmosphere. And, of course, the amazing scout stewards who make it possible for so many people to get into the woods at all.
Signage. It always takes longer than you think. This was a re-use of the template for the main entrance stick sign. Friday Club set about christmasifying it for the Wilderness Wood market stall. The results were much appreciated.
Artist, John Woodberry, regularly comes to work with Friday Club on the latest project. This time it was a poster for the Winter Solstice Event. The process was simple and satisfying. And the results beautiful.
Andrew Coates Woodland Products is responsible for the maintaining of the coppice cycle at the woods. Each year, he and Dan agree the next coop to be cut according to the plans laid out in the Yarrow era and taking into consideration any other new factors. This year, the coop is down near Stream-side. Most of the cutting will be done in the new year but local boy, Ralph Hissey on the chain-saw with help clearing and sorting from wwoofer, Joe Skelton, made a start this week.
Dan and his helpers are working hard to get the ‘shack’ previously known as ‘Easter shack’ ready for its new role as the ‘Christmas shack’ for all the amazing craft stalls coming on the 3rd/4th and 10th/11th December. Other children in Friday Club are preparing decorations, signage,their own stalls….come and see the end results.
After another sunny day on Sunday, we have reserved as many trees as possible for this year. But the good news is that you can still buy a tree at the woods as we will be selling pre-cut local trees from the yard outside the cafe every day from November 26th onwards.
It was a bit of a scramble to get it ready but just in time, the doors were hung and the windows put in. The registrars really love the space and have signed it off as a licensed space for wedding ceremonies – even with the hay bales in! Hurrah.
Over 300 families came to the woods over the weekend – one family in their pyjamas – to reserve a Christmas tree which they will come to collect in December. Some families have been coming for over 30 years, others came to the woods for the first time this year. They all seemed to enjoy themselves – in spite of some heated discussions about which tree to reserve.
There are still plenty of trees but head here as soon as you can to maximise your options on species and sizes.
John Woodberry, artist and regular at Wilderness Wood, worked with Amy Coombes to create this brilliant flying installation above the fire-pit at Stream-side using materials to hand. Amy is going to use it as part of her A level textile course work. Mean-while, make sure you pay it a visit when you next come to the woods.
Through the international network of wwoofers, we were contacted by a Japanese family with four young children who wanted to come and stay and help out at the woods. They came for 10 days and helped on all fronts – even the three-year old!
Becky Doe, usually based in Devon, joined us during half-term to work with a group of 12 member children between the ages of seven and thirteen on creating out of clay. They got their hands in clay from 11am-3pm and made clay heads of each other. Others made pots. There was a lot of laughter and a lot of quiet concentration. Becky was able to help the children individually and work with them as a group to start thinking about the possibilities of clay…The good news is she is willing to come again. In the Easter holidays so contact Emily on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be interested in a clay workshop either for children or adults.
Brilliant team of local volunteers and not so local volunteers have helped us finish the floor, back wall and beautiful stairs up to the first floor. Nearly there. Just need the windows in and then we’re ready to host members meetings, classes, workshops and wedding ceremonies! Please contact email@example.com if you would be interested in using this beautiful and cosy new indoor space at Wilderness Wood. Photography and dog-ownership by member of the wood, Beth Mercer.
At the last wednesday after school club session before the nights draw in, we started preparations for our member’s winter solstice celebration. Tess and Jonah Garrett of Suitcase Theatre came to work with the group on making a sun lantern and rays out of willow and tissue paper. We also worked on a chant which will open proceedings on Saturday December 17th before we process down into the woods as it gets dark. The children worked hard and noisily. Bodes well for the actual event. We hope as many members as possible will join us.
We met up top. But then organised all the tools and food that we would need into the dumper and headed down to the bottom south-east corner of the woods to work on repairs to the main wooden structure, improvements to some of the outdoor furniture in the camping area, clearing the heath-land and paths to the Woodglade area where educational groups meet. We had a delicious lunch cooked on our camp-fire. And thoroughly enjoyed our stint deeper in the woods.
After a hard day’s outdoor work, members gathered in the cafe to hear about and discuss Emily’s PhD on the relationship of self-build and radical education – exploring places where children have created and shaped their own physical environment. We also talked about how the ideas from this research relate to what we are trying to do at the woods – creating a space and a community with people of all ages. The discussion was lively – with lots of questions and ideas and challenges. I attach a synopsis of the research.
We switched to our new reed bed system today. After months of very hard work to dig out the area, set out the pipes and sand, fence the whole area, we finally planted out the reeds and the sewage is now being processed through the sand and reeds. You can read all about how it works by the expert on these kinds of systems, Chris Weedon, in edition 3 of Wild Times.
Andrew Coates has worked at Wilderness Wood for 25 years and runs his own woodland enterprise based at the woods. He often takes his skills and chestnut wood to sites in the local area. But over the past month, he has been contributing to projects at the woods itself, by making gates for the new fence to protect our new reed bed filtration system. He has made the gates with help from volunteers of all ages. He started hanging them on Saturday and they look very happy – made from local wood and local hands.
Photography by Beth Mercer.
Another big group of willing helpers. We worked on gates, protecting trees in the car-park, stacking wood, harvesting apples from the orchard and making new steps up to The Meeting House. In the evening, we celebrated with a BBQ in the tea-garden and sat around our new fire bowl. Very cheering on a rainy night.
Photography by Beth Mercer.
Lucy’s Little Forest School has put on a great summer programme this year – including lots of new activities such as Hapa Zome (dyeing fabric with leaves) and Wild Jewellry with Mel, bug hunt and sculpture with Lyn Merrick, Saxon’s quest and hedgehog trail, Explorer days and all the old favourites such as cast-away and bear hunts….next year, we are thinking of a week-long holiday programme for younger children so let us know if you’d be interested.
The Giant Jam Sandwich premiered as a play for children in the Meeting House building in its new position- written and directed by Christy Hawkins, based on the book by John Vernon Lord and Janet Burroway with original music by Bara Zmekova. After a week of fun but hard work rehearsing – and with an additional moving stage challenge – the children put on a brilliant performance. We had a fantastic audience of 80 people sitting on hay bails – family, neighbours and those who had been working hard on other projects all week. It was a wonderful way to end the week. Thank you to all those involved.
Christy Hawkins, the director and script-writer, would love to hear from people who are interested in future productions or collaborations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Smith, local wood turner, has helped member families build the woods four new shave horses. They are absolutely beautiful and fit-for-purpose. Great work. And now we can have more volunteers helping us shave wood and turn pegs for future projects. Please contact email@example.com or Mark directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be interested in making one for your own carpentry projects.
After some terrifying false-starts, we did it. We moved the Forestry Building. Dan described the process as ‘unbearably stressful’. But it worked – the building is well-made and survived the process. It is now The Meeting House – looking out over the woods rather than the work yard – and to be used for licensed ceremonies, indoor workshops, meetings and who knows what else. And looking much happier where it is now – thank goodness! Martin Lilley not only was a crucial part of the team that moved the building, he also somehow managed to make a film about it.
Ed Heusser and his team were first to complete a project in this year’s working-with-wood-week – a wooden see-saw for the tea-garden. The children tested it within an inch of its life that evening. And Ed had to introduce some new safety features the next day.
We were a group of 50 adults and children from as far as the Czech Republic, South of France and as near as the home-team at Wilderness Wood. A huge mix of skills, talents and previous experiences. And a huge amount of willingness to get stuck into the various projects going on including – building four new shave horses with Mark Smith, carving a new Green Man, moving a building, making a seesaw in the tea-garden, building new gates and putting on a play to entertain the team at the end of a hard week.
Our members brought renewed energy to the seemingly never-ending job of fencing around the new reed-bed so that when we plant the reeds (on the september stewardship sat) the rabbits cannot undo all our work. We also pruned the Christmas Trees – some people love that job! We were also joined by Lyn Merrick, local artist, scientist and member of Wilderness Wood, who shared some of her tricks for how to identify and draw illustrations of trees. Thank-you Lyn.
Golnessa and Glen were blessed in a woodland clearing, barn-danced in front of The Meeting House and had a delicious meal in the marquee cooked by the Wilderness Cafe.
Photography by Georgina Piper.
Music by Dusty Bees.
A group of 12 teenagers with 3 teachers from an alternative school in Germany, called Kissori, have come to camp and help out at the woods for a fort-night as a way to improve their English and have new experiences outside of the classroom. The weather has been shockingly bad but they have resisted the temptation to check into a youth hostel in Brighton. And we have managed to do lots and lots of work with them to look after the woods and progress various projects: fencing the new reed-bed, storing fire-wood, creating a shower in the yurt area, weeding the garden, cooking on fire, chipping and chopping, clearing paths and helping in the Christmas Tree field. It was the first time we have hosted a residential school visit. Not sure if the Kissori students will want to brave our weather again, but we’d love to host them or other groups like this again.
We were staring at the Christmas Tree field in despair. Weeds – fuelled by fertiliser and unbelieveable rain – were overwhelming all our newly planted Christmas Trees. Everyone was telling us to bite the bullet and use pesticides to get the weeds under control. And then along came Mattieu and Marie. They contacted us via the volunteering website www.wwoof.org – they have come to England to travel around and have new experiences. They have a beautiful camper van and two really well-behaved dogs. We invited them to come and tentatively asked them if they minded tackling the Christmas Tree field. They not only didn’t mind. They set to work with strimmer and billhooks and occasional teams of young volunteers and transformed the field. We just need to tempt them back in another few months…
On Stewardship Saturday, members learnt how to to make traditional Sussex post and rail fencing – which will keep the rabbits away from the reeds. Other volunteers fixed a hand-rail across ditches, chipped the play-glade and tea-garden, chopped up pine wood and created new sleeping policemen to try and help the rainwater run-off – not a job we expected to be doing in July. Also, Christmas Tree field very nearly under control. We ended the evening with delicious pizzas cooked by our chef-in-residence, Yoni Suissa. And a raucous football match in the front of the cafe. Thanks to everyone for all your help and enthusiasm. If you would be interested to join the team, contact email@example.com about our membership scheme.
Photography by Beth Mercer.
A break in the rain gave us a lovely day in the woods yesterday – Mark Smith demonstrated his pole-lathe, Dan Morrish made a picnic table with help from fathers and children, Lucy’s Little Forest School built dens and the Wilderness Cafe laid on a delicious BBQ.
When we arrived at the woods 2 years ago, we took down quite a lot of signs and thought that we didn’t want so many. But now, every single meeting ends with the decision to make a new sign about something or other – up-coming events, pay-as-you-feel, opening hours, dog poo, explaining the reed-bed – you name it, we need a sign. Friday Club often has to make signs too – Halloween, Concerts, Plays. So I commissioned Friday Club, helped by Sam Purton, to come up with a beautiful new sign for the cafe. She has started by teaching the children some basic sign-writing calligraphy. I’m hoping to hand the long list to them soon.
Usually our activities are out and about and practical and related to the woods. But this week, we felt we needed to join in the wider debate about Europe. We had two speakers for and against leaving Europe. The group were majority in favour of staying. The debate was good. And a few people even changed their mind through the course of it.
We started on projects for 2016/17 – and made a much-needed new picnic table to Dan’s design from start to finish – many thanks to Chris, Phillip, Anton, Victoria for helping Dan. The Christmas Tree field weeding project for this summer began. Thanks to all the volunteers who have helped us to avoid treating the field with pesticides.
On bank holiday Monday, we were delighted to welcome Robert Fallon to Wilderness Wood to bring his amazing archery skills to the woods. Robert and his team at Wild Nature
are going to come back with more archery and other bush-craft activities over the coming months.
Photography by Beth Mercer.
The Pioneer Health Foundation exists to encourage people to learn from and apply ideas from the Peckham Health Centre, 1935-1950. It sought to create the conditions of active good health for local families. Emily, with her historian hat on, has researched and written about children’s experiences at this centre, and has since become a trustee of this organisation. We were very delighted to host the annual general meeting this year. The trustees were shown around by member children. And then the trustees told the children something about the Peckham Experiment. We explored how the Peckham Experiment has influenced our approach here – in terms of trying to practice the values of freedom, community and self-reliance.
Anita Graham is an experienced herbalist with a herbal practice based in Sevenoaks, Kent. She is also a member of Wilderness Wood. This term, she has offered to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for plants and their uses with the Friday Club – a weekly group of flexi and home-educating families. Each week we are looking at the properties and uses of different plants which grow in the wood or local area. This week, we started with Silver Birch. We couldn’t believe how many uses it has. We enjoyed a cup of birch tea to spring clean our systems and are looking forward to using the infusion which is now doing its magic. If you would like to contact Anita for a consultation or to arrange a herbal walk or workshop, please ring her on 01732 749789.
This was our third May Party for members at Wilderness Wood. We repeated some of the favourite ingredients like pizzas, cake-table, a ceilidh and big fire. And we added some new ones – a May Queen whom we crowned and then led on a walk around the main new projects of the year – new notice-board for members, the timber store, the withy deer, the coppiced site, the new cross-ride, the reed bed filtration system, the Northern Ride, the first horreo and the new 3-D information board. Joe Chambers of Pizza Laundry cooked pizzas for far more people than expected and the ceilidh musicians and caller got most of us on the dance-floor. We then had a beautiful fire in the area proposed for a courtyard in front of the cafe with guests offering songs, hula-hooping and Wild Bar keeping everyone happy with foraged cocktails and craft beer. Thank you to everyone for coming and getting stuck in.
This merry troop are getting ready to dance for the May Queen as the opening of our annual members’ May party. Thank you to Isobel Dormon, who as well as being a Friday Club regular, runs with her husband, Jason Dormon, the dynamic music venue, The Forum in Tunbridge Wells. Isobel’s day job on Fridays has been to help us all get ready to lead the dancing at the May Party. And thanks to Jeannie from the Friday Morning Craft Group who has helped us make the costumes. It’s been fun.
Jessie - - wwoofer, felter, hula hooper and now, chestnut coppice sculptor – has taken on the project, started by Maddie Jessel last Autumn, to make a 3-dimensional map of Wilderness Wood to act as the orientation point for visitors to the woods. She has been working tirelessly to shape hundreds of trees out of wire and then ‘planting’ them in the map. It will be unveiled at our May Party this year. We are delighted that Jessie will be wwoofing with us over the summer and looking forward to lots more creative input – maybe not involving wire.
Each Friday morning, a craft group meets in the cafe. The members of this group take it in turns to share their skills with Friday Club children and their parents. The macrame rope is beautiful and useful.
Ed Heusser has been leading a group of children in the development of an aquaponic system here at the woods. If the experiment works well, we will look at rolling it out on a larger scale to help with the irrigation/feeding of Christmas trees and other new saplings.
Fencing was the theme of our working parties over the Easter holidays: fencing the new reed bed filtration system, fencing the lower paddock for sheep and fencing the garden against rabbits. We’ve mainly been using post and rail. But Dan experimented with some Estonian fencing in the garden which uses up coppice product which is otherwise too small to use. Thanks to all the volunteers who came to help out.
Each holiday, Ed Heusser, master of self-reliance works with a group of kids between the ages of 11 and 14 – in the mornings they develop their survival skills and in the afternoons they learn how to work with wood - using hand-tools. This time, they learnt how to make a range of useful knots out of rope and then crafted handles for various tools from the Wilderness Wood workshop which desperately needed the attention.
Thanks to a great team – as ever – we created a new platform for the yurt which is going up any minute now, fertilised the Christmas Trees, spring cleaned the mud-kitchen, and wood-chipped the new cross-ride. But it wasn’t all hard physical work, we were entertained after tea by poet, Kaaren Whitney and classical music from the Morrish Trio. The poetry and music was thoroughly enjoyed by all the hard-working volunteers of all ages.
Hundreds of families braved the early Easter weather to enjoy Lucy’s Little Forest School’s take on the traditional Easter Bunny Hunt. We also filled the Easter Shack with Wilderness Wood members and their crafts – Ewe-to-Yarn, Mark Smith’s round-wood turning, Karen Rao’s beautiful felting, Lydia Godfrey, local artist and face-painter and Dan on the chisels. Everyone could have a go and there was a spring cheeriness in the air in spite of the weather.
Photography by Beth Mercer.
Tristan left yesterday after a month of contributing across all our projects – filling the timber-store, driving the dumper, carpentry for the new ‘horreo’ and the hugels in the kitchen garden, planting Christmas Trees and making amazing crepes. We wish him lots of luck and are really hoping he can join us for our May Party.
At Wilderness Wood, on working days, the team trys to have lunch together. Wednesday was a real treat. Lucy’s Little Forest School – regular Wednesday morning group – worked with Joe Chambers of The Pizza Laundry to warm up the pizza oven after the winter and cook the whole Wilderness Wood team a delicious pizza lunch. It was also an opportunity to tempt Lizzie Page (the cake-maker extraordinaire) out of the Wilderness Cafe kitchen to pick up some tips from Joe.
Martin Brockman and Adele Scantlebury of Blackbird Arts led a fantastic one-day workshop to make withy deer sculptures out of hazel. The Wilderness Wood team were part of the participant group – Lucy Clark and her husband, Al and Luska Mengham made an absolutely beautiful stag. Now we just need to decide where to put it….come and find it what we agree… Also Martin will be leading another workshop on Saturday 7th May to carve a wooden bird. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Roberta Emmott of The Good Florist led a cheering spring workshop on how to work with seasonal flowers to make beautiful, simple and natural arrangements. All different generations of mothers and their children joined in. It was extremely therapeutic and we all went away with beautiful flowers to give away or keep for ourselves! And then the mothers moved on to high tea in the cafe – a feast!
Everyone seemed to be ill this weekend but the small team that did manage to work that day were highly motivated and managed to clear the planting area for Christmas trees which are going in this week. We were treated at the end of the day to some woodland stories told by Jon Mason, story-teller from Brighton.
A group of about 20 members of the wood of all ages gathered at 10am to find out how they could help. We broke into groups to work with different members of the Wilderness Wood team to clear gulleys, help tree growth, fill up the timber store, build up hugels in the kitchen garden and progress our first ‘horreo’ next to the house. We finished with well-deserved cake made by some of the children at 4pm.
We have completed the new timber store – thanks to all those who helped to build it. Now we’re on to the job of filling it up with the seasoned timber which needs to be kept out of the weather.
Tom Simmons, a local forestry consultant who has been helping us with our 10-year forestry plan to submit to the Forestry Commission, presented our 10-year plans to a group of interested members including the team here and other local woodland owners. It was a very useful discussion about opportunities and threats. There was a lot of support for widening some of the rides and diversifying tree species to minimise risk and to increase general biodiversity in the woods. There was also a recognition of the importance of Andrew Coates’ coppicing work and that part of the appeal of Wilderness Wood is that it is a working wood as well as a place to visit. We’re also looking forward to Tom and his family coming to Wwoof (volunteer) over the summer to put into practice some of these plans.
Ed Heusser, master of self-reliance at the woods, worked with a group of 8 pioneers between the ages of 11 and 14. In the morning, they made a fantastic shelter in the woods. And in the afternoon, they learnt to coppice in the time-honoured tradition.
Photography by Coen Dijkstra
Lucy’s Little Forest School worked with a group of young children and their parents to make bird boxes. They were fantastic.
We had a great turn-out for the Stewardship Saturday this month. We set to work to mitigate the mud factor by wood-chipping the play-glade and tea garden, progress the timber store and clearing the area where the new reed bed filtration system will be going next month. And then after lunch, the whole team set to lifting the timber frames for the first ever (we think) British ‘horreo’. The beams that the children carved in the autumn half-term look beautiful.
Luska, who lives and works at the woods, has been studying Countryside Management at Plumpton College since September. And then sharing her knowledge back at the woods. She’s also an excellent artist – and has produced a beautiful article about identifying winter trees through their buds – available in the first edition of Wild Times. Last Friday, she led a walk to show us how to identify some of the different species of trees in the woods. She is hoping to offer this as a course to the public in the future so contact email@example.com if you’d be interested.
Each Friday morning in the forestry season, Andrew Coates, who was been working at Wilderness Wood for over 20 years, teams up with children from our Friday Club to tackle forestry jobs around the woods. This week was fencing. Next week will be coppicing. Mean-while, the other morning groups were knitting squares for a blanket and making further aquaponic preparations. In the afternoon, Luska led a winter tree idenitfication walk while others helped Dan very nearly finish the timber store.
Everyone was pleased to see each other after a long break over the Christmas period. We also welcomed a new family from the village. As the first Friday of ‘term’, we spent the morning finding out about the different morning options – craft club, forestry club with Andrew Coates and aquaponics club with Ed Heusser. And the afternoon, coming up with ideas for future events, activities and the Spring Edition of Wild Times. But we also managed to fit in some useful work – thank you Len and Teo – some intensive play – and some delicious cakes baked by the children while the grown-ups talked….
We were a hardy and cheery and numerous group of volunteers – including two brave souls who camped out for the night before and after. We made good progress on a new forest foot-path – the Northern Ride – to connect the East of the woods back to the cafe, to the North of the house. This path will create a perimeter route around the woods, allow us to return the lower car-park and surrounding rides to woodland, and re-route forestry “traffic” away from the tea garden and play areas.
The New Year woodworking season began with friend and playwrite, Rachael Claye, recruiting the help of Dan to make a wooden sleigh as a prop for The Lighthouse which opens at The Space in the isle of dogs in London next weekend. The play runs from the 9th January to 31st January. You can book tickets through the theatre box-office on 020 75157799.
Wilderness Wood is hoping to tempt Rachael back to work with playwrite, Sophie Holland, and a group of children to create a play in the woods next summer.
Mike Jackson and Andrew Coates have had another successful year of selling local Christmas Trees out of the yard at Wilderness Wood. They have also had some help from Frank and Ilann (our French 12-year old wwoofer) who became expert at showing off the beautiful trees and carrying them to people’s cars.
To mark the departure of the Delaporte family who have been staying here as volunteers for 3 months, we threw a pizza party to try out the new pizza oven which they have constructed in their time here. It was a huge success. We all chose our own ingredients and then Yohann shovelled it into the very hot pizza oven. It came out 4 minutes later – absolutely delicious. We’re all now full of ideas of summer pizza evenings here at the woods. It will be a very good way to remember the Delaporte’s huge contribution here.
The Christmas market this year was a great success – a lovely atmosphere and wonderful crafts and activities going on; the Friday morning craft group had a fantastic stall with their knitted and textiles work; two local wood-turners, Mark Smith and Vanessa Sutcliffe, demonstrated and sold their wares; Lucy’s Little Forest School helped children make beautiful woody decorations and wreaths; Rebecca Knott, blacksmith, helped children make metal decorations; Open Hands charity selling beautiful hand-made baskets and other products for Romanian orphans; Karen Rao from Brighton had a stylish felting twist on decorations; Emily and helpers sold books all about woods; Lucy Wills sold and made beautiful candles; Martin Brockman created huge woven hazel deer; Adele Scantlebury sold wonderful woodblock prints; Dan and Luska served delicious hot drinks and home-made mince-pies at the Wild Bar; and there was festive music by Friday Club violinists with their teacher Adam Phillips and a lovely choir. Thank-you to everyone who made it such a lovely event.