Damson Day

Just back from a smashing day out at Damson Day in the Lyth Valley. It is small scale, just what we like and we arrived first thing before it got too busy on a lovely sunny day

We were told several times that this was the first time they had held Damson Day with NO BLOSSOM! They reckon it has been delayed at least two weeks by the hard Winter weather. But just after lunch something started to happen …

Yeah! The buds started bursting in the sunshine:

There was a lot going on, including Owen Jones bashing away at making oak swill baskets:

His baskets really are beauties:

There were several other green wood workers there and I had a good chat with Edward Acland about tenon joints in hurdles and gates. He has a natty design in stripped ash poles – goats’ teeth finish, apparently his goats love to eat the bark!

We moved on when it started to get really busy after we’d had our picnic, but not before buying a young damson sapling to partly replace the silver birch at home.

Some glorious views over Lake Windermere:

Rounding off our trip to The Lake District with a cuppa from the Kelly Kettle amongs some clear(ish) felling.

Wild About Wood

Just back from Castle Howard, North Yorkshire where I met Saul Blenkarn, swill maker.  He’s from Hexham and if you want to contact him his phone number is 07818 452 322. He was taught by Owen Jones. Beautiful baskets and a great way of displaying them

I loved his simple shelter, makes mine look way over the top, I feel a redesign coming on for next year’s dos.

I had a great pitch, just in at the entrance, in a grove of small Hornbeams, the first stand visitors encountered, and they all certainly seemed to enjoy my true bodger weekend, turning out the rungs for a set of 6 dining chairs – that’s a whole lot of rungs, nearly got them all done though.  The children were very interested as always, and one of them after having a late go on the lathe, helped us pick up the horse shavings.

This was the first woody event at Kew at Castle Howard arboretum, and seemed to be a success as they will be holding it again next year.

Back to Strid tomorrow, hope the midge repellent fire is not required again