Words from the Woods October 2014

16th October 2014

What a lovely summer we've all had with the sun shining. After enjoying some family time together we came back straight into our woodland and carving courses. Projects over the next month include living willow structures in Carnforth and an exciting schools art project in partnership with RSPB & Cumbria Wildlife Trust at Foulshaw Moss. Then looking forward to an autumn of coppicing, carving and crisp mornings in the woods... best wishes, Gareth and Ro

Firewood time!

Our year goes through many seasonal cycles with our firewood and coppicing season starting now. Everyone is feeling the chill in the air and the wisps of smoke are starting to appear from chimneys. This seasons firewood was cut 2 years ago from coppice woodlands in Brigsteer, Holeslack and Sizergh and is ready to burn.

We coppice the woods as part of a conservation programme to increase populations of butterflies, especially fritillaries, and birds with the spotted flycatcher, song thrush and bullfinch being target species.

Our wood is £75 per pickup load (1.1m3) delivered in Kendal and around outlying villages.

Winter Carving courses at the Footprint

In the cosy space of the National Trust's beautiful strawbale Footprint Gareth will be running a series of bench, spoon, bowl, shrink pot and 'woodcaving with a knife' and 'make your own shave horse' courses as part of their Natural Connections Project. A lovely way to spend a day and create something beautiful to take home, give as a present or just inspire yourself with the joy of greenwood carving. Course gift vouchers available.

Campfire Treats

We thought we'd share some yummy campfire treats we've been enjoying over the summer. Simple campfire pizza...take a piece of sliced bread/naan and toast it on one side (on a grill or griddle). Turn over and spread with pesto, tomato puree and grate some cheese on the top. Put back on the fire and wait for the cheese to melt... yum! yum!

Hmmm that wood smells nice!

We've been supplying 'Chesters by the River' at Skelwith with seasoned cherry for their wood fired pizza oven. Chef Jim is passionate about the wood smoke flavours that are imparted into his food. This got us thinking and we have been putting aside some apple, cherry, and other specials in case anyone fancied a special Christmas log basket or even giving a log bag as an unusual gift. We've also got some apple and cherry wood chips for anyone into smoking food. Click this Smoky Jo's link for some ideas if you want to get into smoking food.


The woods are going grey now;
except, here and there,
the ginger moustaches of larches,
beeches’ flaming hair.
And mottled limes and lemons
dappled through the understorey
on these most dogged of trees:
the pawns, the infantry,
the spear-carriers,
the peasantry,
thick on the ground
in every common wood in the country.
Good neighbours
willing to lend
from their stands, bronze rods
and sinewy wands
for our beansticks, broomsticks,
hedge-stakes and hurdles,
thatchers’ spars and liggers,
cottage-wall wattles.
Each leaf-shucked wooden shell
cradles a cranium seed
milky white as a miniature coconut,
drying dense and sweet
as a silver nutmeg
and a golden pear
bringing the chiselling squirrel
and the King of Spain’s daughter
to join us all on Nutcrack Night
when everyone gets cracking
and teeth are broke on brazen cobs
and po-faced priests sent packing.

And when most folk have turned in
now it’s back-end,
and they’re waving cheery goodbyes
with round yellow hands
on the quiet, meanwhile,
they’re hatching romance:
tiny finger twiddle
in a sprightly catkin dance:
soon to flail on whippy twigs
through wintry gales’ blast,
dangle gloveless
in biting frost.
And all to be first
when the crimson mouths open,
when the lambs’ tails are jiggling,
to walk out with the brown-eyed maiden
up and down the spring copse.

© Paula Day
This poem is from Paula Day’s new book ‘Tree’. Check out her website www.treebydaylight.co.uk to read more tree poems, see some of Val Corbett’s wonderful tree photographs, and buy the book.

Ant woodpile
Andalucia tree