Once again it was a pleasure to meet everyone who called in at the Woodlands.co.uk stand at Westonbirt over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Our stand, ably organised by Dick White, was a focal point for discussion, be it: How much woodland does it take to heat a house? Can you help to identify the tree growing in my garden? What trees shall I plant in the land I’ve just bought? or I’ve seen your sign and I didn’t know you could buy a woodland, tell me about it… It was also good to catch up with some of our past purchasers and meet other woodland owners. They were all more than willing to pass on their enthusiasm and knowledge to those contemplating taking the plunge into woodland ownership.
The theme of the Festival of the Tree at Westonbirt is woodcraft, and the events and activities show how timber in its many forms can be used. From planking using mobile saw mills, rough-hewn sculpture carved with a chainsaw, lots of wood turning, and everything from hand-carving to fine cabinet making and joinery by professional and amateur makers there was something for everyone.
The festival makes use of fallen, dead and damaged timber from the Arboretum. The popular “Sculptree” event transforms tree trunks into massive sculptures - this year including a surfer’s dream wave and a blue tit’s dream milk bottle (3 metres high!) – and you can even purchase your own lump of Westonbirt to take home and practice your woodworking skills on.
Westonbirt is the Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum and it’s well worthwhile setting aside time to have a look around while visiting the festival. It is home to an internationally important collection of trees and shrubs, with nearly 16,000 specimens, set in 600 acres of beautiful, landscaped grounds. It also holds a world-renowned collection of Japanese maples – spectacular in the autumn.
Our next woodfair is The Weald Woodfair, Bentley Wildfowl & Motor Museum - 12th, 13th and 14th September 2008. We look forward to seeing you there!