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Steam, Smoke And Fire At The National Forest Wood Fair

Wednesday, 15th August 2012

It’ll be hard to spot wheelwright Phill Gregson when he stokes up clouds of steam, smoke and fire at the National Forest Wood Fair over Bank Holiday weekend Sunday 26 and Monday 27 August, in the stunning setting of Beacon Hill Country Park, Leicestershire.

His craft – which includes fretting naves, spoking wheels and hooping, and combines smithing and joinery - goes back centuries. He has learnt his trade from a family line he can trace back to his great grandfather, and carried through to his mother who also worked as a wheelwright.

His appearance is a first for the National Forest Wood Fair and he joins an exciting programme of awe-inspiring lumberjacks, horse logging, chainsaw carving, the fast and furious UK Championship Log to Leg race, forest machinery, falconry and lots of children’s activities from eco art to greenwood crafts, making pizzas to scaling the climbing wall.

“The thousands of people who attend the Wood Fair each year are in for a treat,” said Sophie Churchill, Chief Executive of the National Forest Company. “Phill’s display will be spectacular and it is fascinating to see the skill in these ancient crafts. It is wonderful that young people are keeping these crafts alive and making them relevant today. The National Forest is as much about people managing woodlands and using the timber in industry and craft as about planting the trees, and Phill is a great example of that.”

The National Forest Wood Fair is organised by the National Forest Company and Leicestershire County Council. It runs from 10 am – 5 pm on Sunday 26 and Monday 27 August. Beacon Hill Country Park is five minutes from the M1, junctions 22 and 23. 

Tickets cost:  adults, £9; concessions, £6; families, £19 (includes parking). Buy online in advance and save £1 per ticket at

There is a free park and ride service from Leicestershire County Council’s County Hall and entry discount for cyclists.

For more information on the Wood Fair visit the website.

For more on Beacon Hill Country Park visit


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