Monday, 29 September 2014

Elvaston Castle Woodland Festival 2014 - Derbyshire

 Firstly, apologies for the lack of blog posts of late. Its been an incredibly busy year for me working on tree inspection, running and supporting events in Derbyshire and assisting on Bushcraft and carving courses in Wiltshire for Wilderness Survival Skills. There are two children eager to get out and learn about the countryside too, so days have been long, but on the whole, fun packed.
This weekend I had a stall at the Elvaston Castle woodland festival in Derbyshire. Derbyshire County Council’s Countryside service (whom I also work for), organise the event which is held in a well-established mixed estate that they own. There is mature woodland, Tree collections, parkland and formal gardens to explore. Amongst all of this setting is one of the best woodland festivals around, because of all the brilliant demonstrators that attend each year from all areas of craft, woodland working, and nature based education.
I had a couple of tables rammed with spoons, kuksas, bowls, bark pots, baskets, and other crafts to display and sell on. Several spoon making demonstrations were completed over the two days, and lots of great folks met. The turn out this year was the best so far, and the weather, perfect. All in all a really positive event for all. Thanks to everyone who passed by the stall and stopped for a chat, it was great to see you all, and Im sorry if there wasn’t enough time to talk, everyone kept arriving in droves! 
A few pictures from the rest of the site.  I had to pinch these pics off a colleague, as I was glued to the stand most of the time. One day I’ll have to just go as a visitor to get round properly.

Spoon shop by day, bed by night

Rest of my bits and bobs

My footwear for the whole weekend. Buckskin Mocasin boots i made earlier in the year as a student on a course at Wilderness Survival Skills.

Jeremy Atkinson Clog maker
Alistair Hayhurst. A very happy chap making hurdles and many other crafts :)

Wildfood cookery with Dan Watson. One of my favorite stalls

Lots of great bodgers and chair makers on site. Sorry I havent many pictures of them all but I did manage to get hold of these lovely chairs by John Richardson. Peter Wood was also on site with the usual amazing turning skills on display.
Other folks I managed to speak too were Steve Tomlin and Robin wood, well known and very skilled craftsmen who have influenced me a lot via their blogs. They have recently used the site on the build up to the festival as a place to run a wooden Ladder making course. Really great to see these skills in practice and the finished ladders made a real focal point.

Some folks still swinging about for a job. Ahh the fun I used to have....

Hopefully funds and future allowing the festival will still be on next year at the same venue, so get yourself down there if possible, its well worth it.

Hopefully I'll get a few more blog posts up over the next few months.
Next trip is the Hunter Gatherer week, living off the land with a Billy can, knife, saw, milbank bag, cordage. Plus saftey items -  whistle, torch, FA kit, and phone.  

Should be another interesting experience