Words from the Woods Nov 2019

14th November 2019

Hope you are all set for some lovely wintery days to come.This time of year marks a shift for us into practical woodland work as we welcome new Woodshare Members, creating living willow structures, and gathering materials for the year to come. We've got some exciting new schools sessions planned and continuing to share our love of carving greenwood and camping out in the woods...enjoy...best wishes Gareth and Ro

Bioblitz Results!

Orin (our 12yr old son) is passionate about wildlife. Inspired by attending Rusland Horizon's Bioblitz last year he ran his own event in July at National Trust Footprint A Bioblitz is an intense period of biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area in 24hrs. Over the weekend 162 people of all ages helped find a staggering 443 species under the guidance of our wonderful Bioblitz experts. ....mammals, birds, lichens, mosses, trees, invertebrates, fungi.....you name it we found it :)

"I hope lots of people will be inspired to love the natural world around us. I think that if people know and understand what lives alongside them, they will be more passionate about protecting it." says Orin (who has been recently shortlisted for the National Biodiversity Network Awards for Wildlife Recording 2019)

Click here to see NBN's Bioblitz Hub - lots of info and ways to get involved

The Most Eco Christmas Present Ever??

Why not give someone the ultimate eco present?!!...One of our Woodmatters Courses! ...good for the environment, plastic free, nourishing, learn something new AND you end up with something amazing to take home that you have made yourself. We'll design you a lovely personalised voucher for a specific course or a given amount to go on any of our courses... Carving a Bowl, Bench, Spoon or Shrink Pot, Woodland Camp Experiences....you could even put it on your own christmas list :)

FREE Schools Wildlife Survey Lending Kit

As part of Orin's bioblitz project he received funding from the Environmental Youth Action Fund through Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust. This was used to buy survey equipment to use at the Bioblitz. The equipment is now available for local schools to borrow to enable them to carry out wildlife surveys on their school grounds. Click here for more info

A Natural Connection

We've a few exciting projects in the pipeline to build on our work linking people suffering from mental health issues and those living in deprived communities to the natural world through practical woodland work, crafts and art.

Previous projects such as 'Full Cycle' have been measured to show a decrease in depression, decrease in loneliness and an increase in happiness and well being. This has led to life changing results with participants leading more independent lives, finding work or going into full time training ...Watch this space

New Schools sessions!

To run alongside our ever popular Stone Age, Bushcraft, Anglo Saxon/Viking, Enviornmental Art sessions...here's a couple of new ones for 2020.

Nature's Wonders and the Lost Words

A day of exploring and connecting with the wonderful biodiversity around us. Stream life, insects, tree and plant ID. Connecting emotionally through the platform of Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris's wonderful book the Lost Words. Linking in with curriculum science topics. Addressing the issues we are facing and inspiring positive steps we can take. (click here)

Roman Adventure

An action packed day based at Galava Roman Fort (Ambleside). Explore Roman life and learn skills you would need to live as a true Roman. Storytelling, roman crafts, artefact handling and giant ballistas, (click here)

Tree Planting - FREE TREES!

TCV 's I Dig Trees Project have 350,000 carbon busting trees to give away to community groups and volunteers for FREE! Click here to see how you help them reach their 1 million tree target.

Woodland Trust are also giving away hundreds of thousands of trees to school and communities. Click here to apply

Staveley Woodlands Project

It’s been a lovely autumn at Craggy Wood in Staveley. There have been a lot of nuthatch walking up and down the tree trunks and it was a great time to see the tiny goldcrest as it flits around the tree canopy.

Craggy Wood was saved by local people from being sold off by the National Park last year, following a fantastic fundraising campaign. Cumbria Wildlife Trust (CWT) now manages the wood for the community, as part of Staveley Woodlands. The Trust plans to plant a woodland corridor between Craggy Wood and Dorothy Farrer’s Spring Wood. The Trust’s Woodlands Officer, Danni Chalmers, is working with local people who have done a fantastic job gathering local seeds to grow on at home, for planting out in the woodland in the next couple of years.

You can read more about Staveley Woodlands in Danni’s latest blog: https://www.cumbriawildlifetru... Involved! - Friday 15 November and Friday 13 December Volunteer conservation days at Staveley Woodlands. To book 01539 816300

Wonderful Willow

As the leaves fall, the time has come to create some more beautiful and functional willow spaces. Over the next few weeks we'll be visiting lots of local schools to create willow bird hides and enhance outdoor learning spaces like this outdoor classroom at Vicarage Park School Click here if you'd like us to come to you

Get Cumbria Buzzing!!

Help spread the word for how important it is to plant seeds and encourages pollinating flowers to help the bees. Cumbria Wildlife Trust launched a short animation as part of their #Get Cumbria Buzzing campaign. The film shows that pollinators may be tiny but their impact is huge - and they need our help!

They have been shortlisted for the national Charity Film Awards! Click here to watch it and vote for them

Coppice Conversations

Coppice Association North West commissioned this fantastic series of podcasts with local coppice workers in the North West to celebrate National Coppice week 2019. A wonderful set of interesting stories unwinds through interviews by the talented Clare Dyson. Click here to listen to Coppice Conversations with Lorna Singleton, Twiggy, Jack Holden, Sam Ansell, Jo and Daryll

What is Natural? USA students ask the question

Woodmatters were honoured to host students from Principia University Illinois USA for 3 days at National Trust St Catherines sleeping out in hammocks and exploring the local landscape. This was at the start of their 6 week trip to the Lake District where they are exploring the question 'What is Natural?' Click here for more info about the project. A particularly interesting question in land management given the Lakes recent status as a World Heritage Site and the current interest in Re-wilding natural environments.


Beechwood fires are bright and clear,

If the logs are kept a year.

Chestnut's only good, they say,

If for long it's laid away.

Make a fire of elder tree,

Death within your house shall be.

But ash new or ash old

Is fit for a queen with a

crown of gold.

Birch and fir logs burn too fast,

Blaze up bright and do not last.

It is by the Irish said,

Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.

Elm wood burns like

churchyard mold,

E'en the flames are cold.

But ash green or ash brown

Is fit for a queen with a

golden crown.

Poplar gives a bitter smoke,

Fills your eyes and makes you choke.

Applewood will scent your room

With an incense-like perfume.

Oaken logs if dry and old,

Keep away the winter's cold.

But ash new or ash old

Is fit for a queen with

a crown of gold.

...the good ol' classic seems apt as the woodburners start coming into use for the winter but lets spare a thought in celebration of the Ash. Such a wonderous tree for so many things and one that we are sadly losing from our woodlands at a staggering rate from ash dieback. The results of which we will feel for decades to come.

Christmas tree
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane
P5271150 Copy
Photo 2
IMG 1869
Get cumbria buzzing
Lorna and Clare