Things To Do On A Summer Day
We are all enjoying the long, nicely warm, often sunny and very English summer days again, here in the woods. As a particularly pleasant result, we have been busy with a record number of both course and glamping guests - and that's great!
Our guests aren't the only new visitors - hatchlings have been hatching in bird's nests in the showers and sauna changing room, and just a few miles away dolphins and seals have been spotted off our local beaches near Bridport and Lyme Regis.
There's always lots to do here as everything grows at such a staggering rate in the boggy and fertile ground around the Woodland Workshop. However, we have also been taking advantage of the sunshine to both make hay in the meadow and to mend some of the roofs. We've fitted new canvas for some of our communal spaces and the bodger's shelter and we've some brand new custom-made sand coloured canvas bell tents and flysheets being handmade right here in the workshop.
Summer Food And Drink ...
In response to requests, we've added a new glass fronted display fridge and a freezer in the communal yurt shop. Now these not only contain our existing cider, dough and local pies but there are two new items for sale. Firstly, we have a stock of wine and fizz from our local vineyard - The Furleigh Estate. Their delicious rose, red and white as well as their 'Classic Cuvee' are all going down very well. (Guests can now help themselves from the fridge and simply write in the honesty book before settling up at the end of their stay.) Meanwhile, in the freezer we are now also selling a selection of Marshfield Farm ice cream and sorbet tubs. These are surprisingly moreish: so you have been warned!
... And Summer Cooking
If you'd like to enjoy some privacy and anonymity, a romantic BBQ on your private deck and clearing by your yurt, tipi or shepherd's hut can prove the perfect - and easy - answer.
Accompanying a meal or not, the Kelly Kettles have been proving very popular for that cuppa, with water boiled on scavenged dead/dry twigs from the woodland floor. Again in response to requests, we are now stocking Kelly Kettles for sale in the communal yurt, fully branded with Oscar the Owl and the Crafty Camping logo - just the thing to remind you of that special time here in the woods!
Let's Not Forget Romance!
Romance has very much been in the air here, with lots of honeymooners and engagements. 'Crafty Camping' has even been used as a base for the bride and groom for a large wedding nearby at River Cottage.
We are, of course, always very touched that people choose Crafty Camping for that special and important occasion. (And we should add that the Furleigh fizz is going down particularly well with these guests too!)
We are very pleased to be flexible with our courses - it takes just one attendee to start a new course of their choice on a new date! However, that said, if you prefer there are many opportunities to join others (up to a maximum of four in total) on a course date that is already part-booked . This option works particularly well in the busy summer months when there are fewer free days available.
The booking calendar changes all the time but at the time of writing here are some of the pre-booked dates with spaces available on our most popular courses/dates:
- Make A Chair From A Tree: Aug 17-21, 5 days, £834.
- Two Day Bowl Carving: Jul 23/24, Aug 11/12 and Aug 13/14, £300.
- Two Day Green Woodworking and Pole Lathing: Aug 6/7, Aug 24/25 and Sept 1/2, £300.
- Two Day Spoon Carving: Jul 20/21, £300.
- One Day Spoon Carving: Sat 17 Oct, £150.
As ever, there are also lots of two hour 'Have A Go' courses both booked and available for booking on a day that suits you; and, as well, any gift vouchers can be used against any of these courses or just for a relaxing glamping escape in the woods.
A Spoon Carving Winner
Adam's spoon carving skills continue to go from strength to strength thanks to the hours that he has put in during the evenings and weekends, honing his considerable abilities. Don't take it from me though - his talents and expertise are also being recognized by the wider spoon carving community. I am really delighted to be able to report that recently during the annual gathering of green woodworkers (The Bodgers Ball), Adam not only won the 1st Prize for Best Knife Carved Spoon but also the coveted 'Barry Plant Trophy' for the most votes for any spoon. That really is quite something coming from the other best spoon carvers - praise indeed.
Adam picked up other awards too, so whether you want to take up this rewarding and low cost hobby as a beginner or whether you want to improve existing spoon carving techniques, you won't do better than spending some time here in the woods whittling away under the guidance of the master.
No, This Is Not For Everyone!
As well as teaching and developing his skills as a craftsman, Adam has recently made good use of his tree climbing, surgery and arboricultural skills to pollard and dismantle a dangerous tree above our field kitchen. That's far easier to say than to do - it involved climbing an elderly birch taking the branches off on the way up and then descending as each 50cm length of stem was cut and dropped in turn. I, on the other hand, spent the day safely based at ground level clearing the brash and branches! Hats off to Adam for a brave and skilled job completed safely and to a high standard. Needless to say, the birch is now both safe and still alive and sprouting.
A Field With A Hot Club
Other than fun and games in our woods, I'm not long back from 10 days camping in a field at Glastonbury - a busman's holiday maybe but not quite as peaceful, tranquil (or clean) as Crafty Camping!
We had been invited back for the second year with our portable version of the parachute shelters that we use for teaching in the Woodland Workshop. This aluminium portable version provides both shade and shelter as well as a central fire pit and flu. In this instance it formed the centrepiece of the backstage VIP area for the Rabbit Hole Stage at Glastonbury. I'm pleased to say it was all good fun with plenty of happy people all round.
'Hot Club', as this portable shelter has become known, is now safely packed away here in the woods again but it available for hire for private parties, weddings etc. If this is of interest please see the new 'Hot Club' page -
- where you will find more information on this unique centrepiece, satellite smoking room or whatever else you need it to be for your event. Just email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to check availability and for a quote.
Well, I think that's all for now. I hope we'll see many both new and returning guests over the coming months. Thanks for reading.
Guy and the team