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Bushcraft and survival skills at the Ultimate Activity Company, near Hereford

Bushcraft and survival skills at the Ultimate Activity Company, near Hereford

by Angus ~ 28 March, 2019 ~ one comment

I’ve never opened a tampon before, so my newfound friend Tamsin showed me how. Then I started unpeeling it to find it’s really just compacted cotton wool. Tampons turn out to be ideal for lighting a fire if you don’t have matches because they are really compressed cotton wool and can be lit with a small spark. I did have a fire steel in my survival kit box and just like our friendships, we were soon creating sparks and warming up.  We were at the Ultimate Activity Company’s short course on what to do in the wild when things go awry.

Andy, our trainer, with his background as a marine, explained the imaginary position we were in: on a sailing trip eight of us had moored our boat in a sheltered sea loch on the west coast of Scotland and during the night the wind riled up causing the boat to hit a rock. It sank, leaving us just enough time to get off with little more than what we stood up in (along with my survival kit in a watertight tin).   Two of the crew had gone off to get help - leaving six of us to survive outdoors, perhaps for several days. Read more...

Woodlands Awards – back for 2019!

Woodlands Awards – back for 2019!

by Antony Mason ~ 13 March, 2019 ~ comments welcome

The Woodlands Awards for 2019 have just been announced and launched, and we are already accepting entries.

Now in their third year, the aim of the Woodlands Awards (sponsored by Woodlands.co.uk) remains the same: to celebrate – and give due recognition to – all the wonderful and innovative things that are taking place in the woodlands sector year on year.

  • From the winner of a 2018 Best Woodfair Trade Stands Award: “WHOO HOO! We are absolutely delighted to have won one of the Woodlands Awards, how very exciting. Thank you so much for letting us know.”

Read more...

21st March - The international day of forests

21st March – The international day of forests

by Lewis ~ 11 March, 2019 ~ comments welcome

For some years now, the United Nations has promoted an ‘international day of forests’.  Essentially, the day is a celebration of forests and woodlands; it seeks to raise awareness and importance of all types of woodland (large or small).  Woodlands and forests offer a wide range of ‘ecological services’ : Read more...

A busman’s holiday, part 2

A busman’s holiday, part 2

by Dick ~ 8 March, 2019 ~ comments welcome

Having put in place the basic infrastructure so that I can store tools, equipment and firewood and have somewhere for shelter and to work, my attention turned to the top two priorities on my ‘to do’ list – well actually, numbers 2 and 3, number one will always remain ‘relax, do nothing and just enjoy it’.

Firstly there is a semi-circular clearing near the eastern side of what is essentially a triangular plot. I have planted a ‘family copse’ Read more...

A Busman’s Holiday

A Busman’s Holiday

by Dick ~ 13 February, 2019 ~ one comment

Busman’s Holiday by Dick

It was at the Bath & West Show last June, on the occasion of my 65th birthday that I first mentioned to Angus that, whilst not wishing to hang up my chainsaw completely, I was looking to reduce my day-to-day involvement in woodlands.co.uk significantly.

So we worked out a plan whereby I would still do some contracting work for the company [and for my other clients, many of whom had bought their woodlands from the company], as well as specific projects like organising show attendance, sourcing company merchandise and so on, whilst my esteemed colleague and good friend, Mr Stuart Brooking would take on ‘my patch’ Read more...

Ten surprising facts about Christmas traditions and Christmas around the world

Ten surprising facts about Christmas traditions and Christmas around the world

by Angus ~ 18 December, 2018 ~ comments welcome

1.  In Brazil, where Christmas falls in the summer, Brazilians often put cotton wool on pine trees to represent the snow that often falls in  Europe and America

2.  When Christmas cards were invented in Britain in 1843 the first print run was 1,000 which were priced one shilling each, in today's money that would be equivalent to £6, though as an antique one of them recently sold at auction for around £8,000

3.  Christmas is associated with snow and lots of snowflakes fall in the US each year - typically one septillion which is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000  (one with 24 zeros) Read more...

Woodland Vandalism and ... the kindness of strangers at March Wood

Woodland Vandalism and … the kindness of strangers at March Wood

by Karen ~ 8 October, 2018 ~ 2 comments

Last November vandalism and fire devastated the March Wood Project which is a therapeutic and educational project based in Kent, and the story of how the project was brought back to life is extraordinarily encouraging.

The project, set in woodlands near Ashford works with young people and adults affected by mental health and social issues, and it's a not-for-profit organisation. The attack last year meant that we lost equipment and use of an outdoor barn classroom. Read more...

Outdoor quilting and making bunting in Bentley Wood with Mandy

Outdoor quilting and making bunting in Bentley Wood with Mandy

by Angus ~ 2 October, 2018 ~ comments welcome

"You can buy these sewing machines for as little as £10 or £15 each.  We've got ten working machines and they all have names and we know their dates of manufacture, so there's Joanie (1955), Sylvie, Betty and then old Ron (1890) - he's a more robust German-made machine so we get the boys sewing on that one."    Mandy Shaw teaches sewing and quilting outdoors such as at the Bentley Woodfair, where I met her on her stand in the woodland. Read more...

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