It's Nice Here
At last it really does feel like summer here in the woods. The foxgloves are out along our woodland paths, the grass is growing on the loo roof and the willow fairies (seeds) are floating in the air around the entire site. Perhaps it's no wonder that a number of Crafty Camping guests have referred to the film 'Avatar' in the visitors' book lately.
In the glamping en suite tree showers, we've been found a number of nests: birds can spot a good cosy nook a mile off. Much to our guests' delight, we are now seeing our second brood of Blackbirds in Coracle's woodland shower.
Meanwhile, above the woods, our new oak sign on the lane to Yonder Hill is bleaching in the sun beautifully, while Oscar (our owl logo) makes a reassuring welcome as glamping and course guests arrive on site at the top of the field. We had let this field above the woods grow until now, but we've just cut the hay in preparation for grazing for the rest of the season.
The sun seems to be also making campers keen on woodwork courses, with the two-hour spatula course in particular proving popular. Don't forget to pre-book these when you book your accommodation as they do tend to fill-up quickly.
It's Nice Near Here
As well as enjoying our peaceful, magical woodland, most guests do venture out to explore the beautiful countryside around and about, and to buy some of the fantastic local produce - particularly the local fish.
For those that want to take things a step further, I don't think you can beat catching your own Mackerel and Bass down the road in Lyme Regis Bay. Doing so comes with the bonus of being able to look back from the boat at the World Heritage Jurassic Coast and Golden Cap. Contact details for local fishing trips starting out from Lyme Regis can be found on our links page, along with many other things to do, shops to visit and places to eat in the area.
(For the keen anglers amongst you that really don't want to leave the woods, there's no need to feel left out. We've just gained permission from the Environment Agency to release another 100 Rainbow Trout into the fishing pond here on site!)
Sun Screen For Wood
Lovely though sunshine in, just as humans need a bit of sun-screen so we have to look after our green wood stock. Lately, we have carefully selected the best logs for our 'Make a Chair from a Tree' courses and stacked them under a parachute shelter safely out of harm's way.
The danger is that the sun will dry them out too quickly, causing 'end shakes' and drying off the surface. Just to be sure, we paint the ends with water based 'end seal' to further protect them from sun and the drying effect of wind. The other danger is rot, and for this reason they are stacked on dry wood chip over free draining gravel so they stay clean and green ready for our next chair course. (See below for dates and availability.)
Making The Special More Special
It may seem an awfully long time away but we are already taking bookings for towards the end of the year. With this in mind we have opened up two special whole site booking blocks for Christmas and New Year
These two blocks of time are reserved for whole site bookings only and cost £3,988 for each Monday-Friday block - strictly on a 'first come first served' basis.
The days/dates for Christmas 2013 are Monday 23rd-Friday 27th and for New Year 2013/14 they're Monday 30th-Friday 3rd.
We're looking forward to welcoming groups of family members or friends over the festive season. It's a special time of year for many regardless of where you might be enjoying it; we hope spending it in the woods will make it even more so.
Christmas and New Year aside, as ever you can make individual tent bookings for any available date. However, if you are thinking of taking a whole-site booking for yourself and a group of friends or family then all I can say is please do book early. As our reputation spreads (!), so return whole-site bookings up to a year in advance are happening more often. Prompt booking is of the essence, especially for popular dates.
Regarding course bookings, as long as you are coming with a friend/partner you can now book any convenient date that is available that suits you and choose the course that you would like.
At the time of writing there are also some spaces available for single-place bookings on these existing course bookings:
- Two places, Coracle Making, 17th-19th July;
- Two places, two day Green Woodworking and Pole Lathe, 30th/31st July;
- Two places, two hour pm Whittling 21st August;
- Two places, one day Introduction to Green Woodworking, 22nd August and 3rd September;
- One place, two day Green Woodworking and Pole Lathe, 23rd/24th September;
- Five places on our annual five day Make a Chair from a Tree course, starting 30th September.
In A Different Field
It seems like an age ago that we were setting up our parachute workshops as the centrepiece of the Glastonbury Festival's Green Craft Field in 2011. Listening to the radio right now, I can't help but wish we had signed up again this year to join our friends from the Mastercrafts TV series and from the Heritage Crafts Association - we had a great time while we were there. Of course, those same friends have been calling me during this year's festival build-up to rub in how good this year's looking! Not one to bear a grudge, I do hope that the weather holds and that the wellies stay packed ... and if you're reading this and attending, do go along to the Green Craft Field and say 'hello' from me. With a bit of luck we'll be back there next year for another workshop outing with a difference.
That's about all for this month, and the next newsletter will be in August. In the meantime, don't forget to book-up soon if you are planning to come and join us here in the woods - whether while the sun has plenty of warmth in it or later in the year.
Guy and the team