Wild about Wood

Just returned from a good weekend at Kew at Castle Howard’s Wild about Wood.  Pretty busy with a joint display of turning on the pole lathe, making a stool, have a goes and three charcoal burns:

But Jane was there helping out, and so was Richard D (many thanks for sterling efforts both!)

The Friday burn turned out the usual amount of brown ends, but far too many on Saturday’s burn, emptied Sunday.  I’d closed it down too early, but the brown ends went back in and the outturn of Sunday’s burn, opened today was just two bags of charcoal and NO brown ends at all.  It was a little tricky watching the burn smoke colour and chatting to people and doing demos, sometimes all at the same time.  However, the emphasis of the weekend was education and several groups of people went away knowing much more about charcoal than they did when they came in.  A couple of people also learnt the difference between sawdust and shavings (and they were not children!)  Bit showery on Saturday, but a lovely sunny day Sunday with lots of visitors.

We camped in our classic 2nd hand de Waard dutch tent and cooked all-in-one-pot meals each night in the dutch oven.

The arboretum is really well laid out in what used to be parkland with mature oaks and chestnuts, and much more recent plantings of trees from around the world.  Lots of different oaks etc.  Here’s a sample of the trees and vistas:

The lathe was set up in a little hornbeam copse.

We also had a surprise visit from two German journeymen carpenters who were looking for work at The Arboretum.

They were wearing the traditional carpenter’s dress and were fully trained craftsmen looking for further experience by travelling. You can read more about the German journeyman system here on Robin Wood’s blog.

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The Norfolk Coast

Part two of our staycation was at Happisburgh last weekend, where we went for the joint 60th of two old friends, so to speak. (well they’re only 60!). On the way there we called in at Holt for the excellent second-hand bookshop in Fish Hill

We also called in at Felbrigg Hall briefly, to use their facilities – I always enjoy seeing the cropped trees in parkland

Norfolk has such wonderful skies – especially near the sea

I got up early and took my own photograph

There is trouble with coastal erosion at Happisburgh and the greenheart sea defences are crumbling in the face of the North Sea

We had a great party with two live bands

A bonfire

And barbecue

It was a chance to try out our new (to us) 1985 vintage de Waard tent

And to wish that hops grew in the hedgerows where we live