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Enter Show Season 2013

May 19, 2013

Hobbledown Mystery Adventure Farm Park……

Starting this years show season was a opotunity for members to bring their expertise and craft to the Hobbledown Farm Park in Epsom, Surrey.
The gathered crafts men and women put on their best show, as ever, and wooed the passing MayDay Holiday crowds with their own special woodland adventure.
Over commited with work myself to have time to be there for the two days, I rushed along on the Sunday to snap up the action so to share the view….. more>>>>>>
Roger Day


‘Hands-On-Day’ 2012

July 3, 2012

It’s full steam ahead for this year’s Hands-On-Day, Saturday 7th July in Fernhurst.  As always, please contact John Sinclair if you are hoping to attend ( ).  You don’t have to be a Member to enjoy the activities, we just need numbers for catering.  Lunch is on us, locally sourced Burgers and Sausages, with Tea/ Coffee/squash provided.  There is an evening meal by way of Venison, at £5 per head.  The increasingly popular vegetarian options will also be available.  Locally sourced Real Ale and Cider will be on tap for a suggested donation of £1 a pint.  Bring your own plates/cutlery/mugs etc.

There will be demonstrations in the following Skills and Crafts:

  • Splitting out Hazel Weavers for Basketry and Besoms
  • Tilley Lamp Clinic – please bring any you have that need to see the doctor!
  • Rope Splicing
  • Steam Bending
  • Pole Lathing
  • Blacksmith’s Forge
  • Tool Sharpening & Handling Clinic – please bring your items of interest
  • Hazel Whirlygigs – kids toys – nice little extra product line
  • Spoon Carving – a couple of ways
  • Knot Tying – for numerous purposes
  • Ways of Making Fire
  • Thatching Spars – a couple of ways
  • Hand Carving
  • Chestnut Palings
  • Tine Cutting – various types/shapes
  • Shrink Pots
  • Speed Weaving
  • Leather Stitching

WOW ! ! !

The usual Tools Auction is running again this year, so please bring anything you wish to auction off.  Making its debut last year, ‘Deer Skittles’ is returning, with the promise of other traditional Games also making an appearance – have a Cider and join in the fun!!

We look forward to seeing you all there…………….

The Windsors and The Woodsmen

June 29, 2012

As Monday 4th  June  dawned with leaden skies, heavy rain and the collective mud from several days of precipitation underfoot, one could have been mistaken for thinking that the much anticipated first event of the season, ‘The Surrey County Show’, with it’s whispered about Royal visit was going to be a washout.

But the spirit of the woodsman prevailed, and as one by one each exhibitor arrived  and pitched their stalls in the increasing wind and constant rain. Those present were Roger Day with his amazing pole lathe, Leo with his pole lathe, Darren making his stick chairs and tables, Ian Baldwin with his Octo-kiln, James from Surrey Hills Woodfuels, Meike making her woody stick pencils, Ben with a lethal looking adze and beautiful chairs, Connor and Dawn Fielding with the Lower Mole Project, Carl and Cat Armstrong with wooden hearts and willow products, John Sinclair with his Tent Pegs and lots of banter and a lovely new coat, Graham Copland-Cale with his Birch and Hazel and animals and Nick Owen re-handling tools. It seemed all would be fine. ………that is all apart from the hole!

That is the 2ft x 2ft hole in the middle of our small area, in just the right place for many a twisted ankle and perhaps a fallen dignitary or two.

As happens in these cases the was much rubbing of chins and scratching of heads before the final solution was found. To the rescue came the talented Roger Day who installed the very beautiful ‘Spirit of Spring’ on a makeshift plinth ( a box unearthed from John Sinclair’s Landy) covered in hessian .

As the morning progressed the rain stopped, and the cloud broke, by 9am the public were milling around and already showing an interest. As usual the kettle was on at base camp and the frying pan seemed to be in constant use

As the  morning continued, with group members stands laden with goods, and demonstrations taking place there were many quotes from the public of  “oh my Grandfather used to do that” and admiration for the skills on show.

At around 11.45am with an influx of photographers and high viz  jackets the Royal Visit was upon us.  First came the Countess of Wessex managing to walk in heels on the soggy ground, who spent quite a while looking around

and chatting. She was then joined by the Earl who was shown around by John Sinclair. Although only expected to spend a short time with the group, they were interested enough to spend more time and talk to most of the group.

All in all a good day was had by everyone. Lots of people actually trying to understand what the group was all about. and great PR for the coppice industry as whole.

Coppice Week 2012, Godington House

June 9, 2012

This year’s ‘Coppice Week’ will be held at Godinton House, near Ashford in Kent  and runs from Sunday 10th June until Saturday 16th Jun 2012.

This years courses include Besom Brooms, Hay Rakes, Tree Bark Weaving and Eastern European Fan Birds to name but a few….  for full course details please click

As always, booking is essential!  Please contact David Rosney on 07870 162504

The Show Season Ends on a High

November 16, 2011

This year the Group made their debut at the Surrey Hills Wood Fair, Birtley House, 8th – 9th October.  It was a notable event  because, while many of the group were at Singleton and Cranborne Chase, we still had a really good contingent at Birtley including many debutantes. Owen Thomas and Neffie with their Pole Lathe and a plethora of innovative creative products, Ruth Wheeler, a sculptress of considerable talent, and Mike Wonder with personalised Hazel pencils to name but two, all contributed greatly to the overall display and atmosphere. We also had Nick Owen making tool handles and Kat Armstrong weaving Willow while Carl was demonstrating the Indian drill for fire-lighting. Mr CC was flat-out on the Birch animals while his group of venture scouts were making a clay oven, and as ever Roger was the talk of the show. Richie’s Roundhouse became a solar powered cinema for the weekend and it all worked very well.

Our Chairman states: “We, as a group, put on a good display and were very well received by both public and organisers alike. It was far from the ‘usual suspects’ with the majority of our exhibitors being ‘first timers’ with the Group and some being first time exhibitors full stop!! The organisers wanted us there and went out of their way to make sure we could be there. It was also great to have Richard, Colin, Tim, Angela, Stuart, Simon Farndon and many others visit to show and give support.”

The Weald Woodfair, ordinarily the last show of the season for the Group, 16th – 18th September, was also as successful as ever.  Following the efforts of a keen few Members the week prior, carrying out clearance work on the site, the wooded area we occupy for demonstrations, this time not only had the sun shining through the trees, but was also significantly more spacious, allowing a more relaxed Public to mingle amongst the Group.  With last year’s ‘funnel’ effect a thing of the past, the Public could really appreciate the stunning sculpture of Roger Day’s conceptual Chestnut shelter, enjoy John Sinclair’s controversial ‘bull roarers’, and watch in awe whilst Graham West experimented with a very old method of bowl making – burning the main hollow of the bowl with glowing embers prior to scraping and carving.  Along with the usual suspects demonstrating the skills of their professions, and the ever popular Charcoal Drawing for children, we also welcomed Darren Thomas to the Group’s display, with his beautifully unique hand-made ‘stick’ furniture…. significantly more dramatic than they sound!  Many thanks, as always, to all those who gave their help and support at this key event!!

If you think you may like to take part in 2012, at any of the shows or events the Group attends, then please do contact Mick Stanton on 01483 810062.

Course – Introduction to Green Wood Turning

July 29, 2011

Nick Owen, who many of you know as having worked for the Lower Mole Project for the last 23 years, is now working independently for both the Lower Mole Project and the Lower Mole Countryside Trust.  The Trust and the Project work in parallel but are separate entities. 


The Introduction to Green Wood Turning course, 13th-14th September, is for the Lower Mole Trust, who would like to run more courses as awareness raising and to bring in a little money.  See the Trust website for their small grants scheme: 

Phillip Hardy, Standing Down

July 29, 2011
the end of the day…

After almost ten years at the top, at last night’s AGM, Phillip Hardy stepped down from his position on the Committee, choosing not to stand for re-election.  In acknowledgement of the all the hard work and dedication Phil has given to the Group over the last decade, the room erupted in spontaneous applause following this announcement.  Phillip’s input will be sorely missed by his fellow Committee Members, but both the Group and the Committee look forward to Phil’s continued membership and support of the Group.

The photograph here was taken on a Coracle Making course Phillip taught a couple of years ago (Phil features in the blue overalls).

If you think you can fill Phil’s shoes, and think you might be interested in joining the Committee of the Sussex and Surrey Coppice Group, then please contact John Sinclair, Chairman, on 07743 164 422, or alternatively email him at  (Please note, you must be a current Member of the Group to stand for a position on the Committee).