Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Creative Play

13th January 2016

Happy New Year

It was a good start, and just as it ought to be: pale sunshine, January cold, no wind, and dry. We of the Wednesday Conservation Team always reckoned on Wednesdays being predictably fine, but that all went wrong in 2015. Maybe this is a sign that the weather will revert to its old ways. A nice thought but, of course, complete rubbish, nature doesn’t work like that.
Ordinarily, as you may know, we get our fun from being destructive in the name of nature conservation – laying waste to invasions of Himalayan Balsam, uprooting Western Hemlock and (best of all) making a bonfire of rampant rhododendron. It’s nothing as silly as a new year’s resolution, but we started 2016 by being constructive.

Preparation Work

In the woods, where we were erecting a willow tunnel, it was damp and penetratingly cold, and the relative immobility required by the task almost guaranteed that we would get colder. And we did. Numbed fingers tied ill-practiced knots to temporarily bind the arched willow wands; numbed brains tried to fathom the art of weaving willow. None of us had any experience of this before, and only two of us seemed to have the vaguest idea of what the finished structure should look like but, by a process of corrected error, the job got done.

Getting Started
An Inquisitive Robin

Platting the Willow

Taking Shape

Give it a few months and new green growth should cover our mistakes. Anyway, poor workmanship shouldn’t spoil the fun of the children who come to this Woodland Playscape in the summer; it didn’t spoil ours.
The Finished Product
Steve Wootten & Phil Coyne