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Don't Be Stumped Out!

Wednesday, 8th July 2009

Over seven million trees have been planted in The National Forest, and many of these are ash trees. It is the timber traditionally used for making cricket stumps and if you take a green woodworking course in The National Forest with Greenwood Days, you could be making your very own set of cricket bails, on a foot-powered pole lathe in a woodland shelter deep in the heart of the Forest.

You could even rig up a wind-up radio so that you miss none of the thrills and spills of the match.

Greenwood Days offers a whole range of traditional country craft and green woodworking courses.  You can make a coracle and take it to water (a change of clothing is recommended!); you can craft a longbow and learn to fire it; you can make a fine Windsor armchair, that will be an heirloom for future generations.  Weave baskets or hurdles; create beautiful three-dimensional forms out of willow or a magnificent lantern to grace your garden; fashion a three-legged stool out of an unremarkable lump of wood.  You will surprise yourself!

The very best cricket bats in the world are made of English willow and in the future, some of these will be sourced from The National Forest.  Cricket bat willow has been planted where wet ground in the Forest suits it very well, for example, alongside the stream in the Royal Forestry Society’s Battram Wood in The National Forest. Battram Wood was planted ten years ago and is one of the many woodlands that have transformed the landscape of this part of the former Midlands Coalfield.

The 2009 visitor guide to The National Forest & Beyond is bursting with great ideas for things to see and do in and around the Forest.  The guides are available from Tourist Information Centres or from the National Forest Company, tel: 01283 551 211, email: enquiries@nationalforest.org