Winter 2015-2016

Winter 2015 – 2016

2015 was a great year for Forest Harvest to celebrate, with lots of highlights.

A perfect evening in August was amazing testing the coracles out at Barton:

Coracles at Barton

Another was learning all about pole lathes from a hugely knowledgeable Peter Wood (looking forward to the new Pole Lathe Course on 27th August 2016).

Most enjoyment came from just relaxing and chatting with so many kindred spirits.

Successes in 2015 have to include growing some 30 pumpkins for the Halloween Carving despite the weather, and thanks to a mild autumn bucket loads of raspberries will keep us in jams and jellies for years.

I hope the squirrels enjoyed the best sweet corn ever grown because we didn’t get much of it.

At the end of 2016 Forest Harvest will be moving into the woodland Workshop at Woodmill. As the name suggests, for hundreds of years it has been a place of timber work.

Research at the very helpful Lichfield Records Office revealed Tithe Maps that show Woodmill Hadley End at the centre of the Needwood Forest.

Tithe map

The 1749 Bowen’s map shows Needwood Forest stretching from Alrewas in the South to Uttoxeter in the North so it was a large expanse of woodland with many traditional industries. It also shows place names such as Brickly Lane which in conjunction with other names such as Brick Kiln Wood indicates brick & tile manufacture was one of those crafts.

The raw material of clay next to the timber fuel for the ovens made it an ideal site. Further evidence is the numerous little ponds in the area where clay has been dug leaving clay lined pits that hold the water.

In the Summer it is planned to use this as an inspiration for a number of practical Forest Harvest workshops.

Thanks to everyone who has been on our courses in 2015, wishing you all the best in 2016.

Happy Crafting.