Friday, 18 January 2008

Bentley Wood Fair


Well, that was a busy weekend!

We started on Thursday by going to the annual conference of the Small Woods Association, where we heard some interesting talks on woodland history and owning a wood, had a good lunch and voted in the AGM. The proceedings were held in the Woodland Enterprise Centre, which has this fantastic building made from Sweet Chestnut:

One of the speakers was Julian Evans, a Forestry Commission expert and woodland owner, and as we happened to know him through a mutual friend, after the conference he came to look round the wood with us. This was in invaluable visit, as just by looking at the height of the branches on the oaks he was able to tell us some of the history of how the coppice had probably been worked! We also found out that our Wild Service tree, which we new was rare, is the "Rolls Royce" of indicators for ancient woodland, so we were pleased about that!

On Friday we went to the Bentley Wood Fair ( ). This event was huge - we spent nearly six hours going round it, and had to go briskly at points to manage that! The most valuable thing for us was making contact with potential buyers for various products from our wood. For example, oaks with burrs for bowl turners, small chestnut poles for rustic garden furniture, and chestnut roots for sculptures.

Here's some pictures to give you an idea of what was there:

mobile saw mill:

making stakes the easy way:

Traditional craft using Hazel:

Charcoal kiln burning:

Horses for timber extraction - we are hoping to use these!

Oak frame building:


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