Sunday, 31 October 2010

All the fun of the Greenwood Fair...

We drove just over the border to Lancashire today to check out a Greenwood Fair at Leighton Hall. It was a free event, organised as part of the Cumbria Wood and Forestry Festival with the aim of promoting the use of wood as a fuel and demonstrating lots of woodland skills, from green woodworking and charcoal making to chainsawing and bushcraft.

I particularly liked the bushcraft stall, where there was a tasty looking wild fruit jam and some home made bread (in a Dutch oven) cooking away over the fire...
Dutch oven and wild jam

Plus some demonstrations of butchering wild meat, which was hanging in a rustic looking 'larder' at the back of the stall...
Wild food larder 1

There were plenty of gorgeous hand carved spoons on various stalls...
Hand carved greenwood spoons

And demonstrations of some of the ways charcoal can be made, such as on a small scale in an old oil drum...
Jim and the oil drum charcoal burner

Or in a traditional 'earth burn', where the logs are stacked up and covered with earth before being lit. This mini version gave an idea of how an earth burn is constructed...
Mini charcoal earth burn

There was a lot to see for such a small event and the whole local greenwood community seemed to be there, along with artists and craftspeople, some local food producers and organisations like the National Trust (who manage the Arniside and Silverdale AONB locally) and the RSPB, which has the Leighton Moss nature reserve nearby.

It was well worth the trip and made me want to have another go at carving some wooden spoons (something I haven't tried since my poor attempts a few years ago on the Woodland Pioneers course!). Watch out finger-ends! :)

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