Full Cycle aims to connect the present with the past and to apply human power into the creation of improved habitats, improved communities, improved skills and offer the much needed improvement of mental health and well being for targeted groups who do not normally have access to nature based projects. This will be achieved through a full cycle of seasonal work in the woodland where participants start with the physical work to gather material and end with the final artistic, crafted, product. (We have run this project run twice in partnership with both Mosaic Campaign for National Parks and Rusland Horizons )
We begin in winter, cutting coppice wood to improve the management and nature conservation value of a local woodland. During this time participants will develop their understand of the importance and heritage of woodland management, of skill sharing, team work, safe working, planning and communication and the satisfaction felt at the end of a wet day where you can see what you have achieved.
The next stage emerges in Spring, taking a portion of that wood and converting it to charcoal. This can be on a range of scales. Barrel burns, Kiln burns and a traditional Earth burn could all be a part of the skills and knowledge development. The heritage links of this process and the landscape impacts are of interest in themselves but the aim is to produce charcoal for the summer stage…
…Summer sees the building and use of a primitive forge. The heritage links develop from charcoal to its use in smelting and woodland forges. We will produce simple tools that we will temper and sharpen ready for the Autumn.
In Autumn these tools will be used to produce greenwood items. There will be a phase of skill development in the use of the tools and the form and function of potential items.
From there we move back into Winter, so the participants see the full circle of the year, as winter goes on new people join ready to repeat the cycle.