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

Looking forward to felling and thinking about extraction

Food for thought! (Click on the previous text to browse the book where this appears)

There are going to be horse extraction demos at the Wild About Wood weekend I’m working at this weekend – I don’t expect it to snow though, or for the horses to be so burdened!  The chapter whence this photo comes is a fascinating brief overview of heavy logging in North West (?) America around the turn of the 20th century. No chainsaws.

And if you think the horses are somewhat overloaded – look at these poor beasts – must be about 20 people on there, and they are going from Hebden Bridge Station to Hardcastle Crags’ Gibson Mill, which is by no means a level journey!

Walls and ‘stools

OOOOh, those leaves are turning!

Gratuitous picture of the Wharfe where is comes out of the Strid bottleneck, looks inviting, but it’s really a killer.

Here are some of the Strid Autumn fruits.  I’m not sure about this one, but it could be a Shaggy Parasol, very handsome anyway.

This one just looks poisonous I think it may be Amethyst Deceiver Laccaria amethystea, if it is, it’s edible.

These are very prolific round the bodgery, growing through the woodchip from when the massive beech was felled over a year ago.  They have hairy caps, rather than the shaggy ones on Inkcaps, not sure what they are, they quickly mature into the tall ones in the background.

Last night was Dales Jam practice at Skipton Auction Mart.  Craven College occupy part of the same site, and their Heritage Skills Department are setting up a dry stone walling exhibition centre. It looks very good so far!

This is a lime kiln made into a sheep fold, there are many old lime kilns aroung the limestone areas of The Dales and even one about 300 yards from home here on the banks of the Leeds Liverpool canal, presumably built there to use coal barged in.

This beautiful curved piece includes a cripple hole (or hoil) as we say around here.  It’s a sheep-sized gate hole, usually blocked by a stone flag when not in use.

Here’s an example of a field shelter.  I love the batter on the internal arris of the walls.

And this one is just so good, I’m adopting it as my header for a while.

I think this is a very positive development, I have been feeling a bit fed up by the sight of many walls falling down through neglect round The Dales, and had then decided that they were mainly a product of The Enclosure Acts, which were A Bad Thing, but turns out some of the walls are dated way beyond that piece of silly nonsense.  But now there seems to be a real impetus to get people interested and trained in this ancient skill, great!

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