There are no strangers here just friends we haven’t met yet! So welcome friends both old and new to our first newsletter of 2020. We aim to bring you updates from time to time, share our blog posts and provide you with the opportunity to also share your feedback so we can continue to improve the services and experiences we offer to you, your friends and family.
As many of you may already be aware Paul (aka the woodsman!) has been delivering our Coppicing, Hedgelaying & Wattle Hurdle Making Courses since 2018 and these courses continue to grow in popularity. The courses have previously taken place at New Pond Farm, Reigate between October and February each year. This year we have moved the coppicing to Norbury Park, Fetcham because there is quality Hazel in abundance here and the ground is not so saturated from all the rain we had earlier this month. We have also introduced hot food (breakfast and lunch) in the woods for our trainees, which as you can imagine a hot meal on a cold winters day is very welcomed and also reduces the risk of Paul returning home ‘hangry’!
Due to popularity, we have now added another date for our Hedgelaying & Coppicing Course, this will be held on the weekend of 7th and 8th March:
If you have tried Hedgelaying and would like to have a go at making a Wattle Hurdle Panel using traditional techniques we have one more course running this winter, it will be held at Norbury Park, Fetcham on 1st and 2nd of February – do sign up quickly as we only have 2 places remaining!
Please note that our ratio of trainer to the trainee is usually 1 to 7. However, we can facilitate larger private groups and will bring in another qualified tutor when needed.
We are finding that more of you are keen to have one to one training with Paul, particularly those who wish to up-skill really quickly and put what they have learned into immediate practice. We will always consider requests, for example, one of our customers requested a one-to-one Coppicing and Hazel Arch course with Paul next month. The coppicing will take place at Norbury Park, Fetcham and the Hazel Arch will be made in situ in the customers garden in Reigate so it can be immediately erected into place.
For the first time, this winter we filled our commercial hedgelaying calendar before the coppicing season commenced in October! This just shows that attending country fairs over the past two years and engaging face to face with our prospective customers really makes a difference, not to mention how helpful the great reviews and referrals our customers have provided have been for us too! If you are an existing customer and wish to provide a facebook or a Google review for our business then you will find us @hedgesandhurdles or you can just send me (Lorraine) a quick email with some text for inclusion on our website: Lorraine@hedgesandhurdles.com
It’s nearly a year since I held my first workshop at the Priory Farm Estate, South Nutfield. In the first workshop we made rustic Obelisk using either Hazel I coppiced myself or with Willow that I harvested on-site with the help on occasions by volunteers! I took these workshops a step further and combined them with a Mini-Wattle Hazel Hurdle workshop that I ran with Paul in the summer at the beautiful location of Sussex Prairies, near Henfield. I highly recommend a visit to the Sussex Prairie garden and tea rooms owned and run by the lovely Pauline and Paul.
My workshops have developed considerably over the past year as I introduced you to Willow Dragonflies, flowers, hearts and more. I have been learning new Willow weaving and Wood Craft skills to continue to bring you a range of exciting new experiences to choose from in the coming months. In January I have already held a Willow Bird Feeder workshop with more planned.
Next Tuesday I will hold my first Willow Cloche workshop! Can I share a secret, this next workshop was supposed to be in March but I added the wrong date to the facebook event page and as I received immediate bookings decided it would still go ahead. So sorry for the late notice but there are still places available if you would like to join me, it would be good to have a full house (barn), I will take a heater so we can go inside if it really is too cold out there too!
If you fancy learning a new skill this year and enjoy being in the outdoors we currently have 33 workshop experiences published for the year ahead and still more to add, do take a look to see if there is one that interests you:
I would like to thank those of you who volunteered to help me in harvesting Willow at Priory Farm Estate. I must admit the coppicing undertaken this month was much easier than that undertaken in November. I was also delighted to be joined by Anthony (Ant), one of the people who originally planted the Willow when he worked at Priory Farm many years ago. The Willow is now less brittle and of course, all of the leaves have fallen off so no double handling needed. Without these volunteers, I think my back would have broken by now but with the help of these new friends, it has made this work so much easier but most of all, it has created the opportunity to bring people together from the local community and further afield to share in this mindful, relaxing experience!
If you are familiar with Reigate Heath then you will have heard of The Skimmington Castle, a great little pub near to the golf course. You may not yet be familiar with Grow at the Skim a “small, independent plant nursery and garden boutique set in under 0.1 acres in the grounds of the Skimmington Castle pub on Reigate Heath. Every effort is being made to ensure that Grow at the Skim fits in as a beautiful part of this stunning natural landscape and our tranquil community.”
This little boutique popped up just before Christmas and I was invited to display my Willow Crafts for sale and also took commissions for my rustic door wreaths and large Hazel and Willow chandeliers. Apparently, I was the top seller, which was great news to hear for such a new collaboration.
This month I have been busy making Bird Feeders of varying sizes to display at Grow At The Skim and look forward to filling the decking with Willow Obelisk and other Wood Craft creations I have in mind! In addition, I will be running some workshops here, the first one will be to make Willow Bird Feeders!
Watch this space! I mentioned in a previous newsletter that I have joined forces with Ruth Wheeler an experienced wood sculptor and artist. This year we will be launching our Weekender Workshops at the “Birtley Woodland Art Space” located within the woodlands within the stunning Birtley Estate in Bramley Guildford. We will be offering various workshops for you to choose including Willow Art, Wood Art, Pyrography, Whittling and Spoon Carving. As with all things good, it takes time to develop our offering but we hope to have booking details for you very soon. I can announce that our first workshop will be held on 14th and 15th March so do drop me a line if you would like to be added to our waitlist!
The Birtley Woodland Art Space is also a fantastic new location for our “Hen In The Woods experience.
“Planning a Shabby Chic or Rustic themed Wedding? Bring your friends and family together to design and make your own bespoke accessories whilst participating in a fun-filled outdoor ‘experience’ set within the beautiful surroundings of Surrey Hills.”
As well as offering you a full range of arts and craft activities to choose from we can also include woodland walks, picnics alongside the picturesque lakes and create a bespoke one or two day Hen Party event for you all to enjoy. Camping may also be a possibility (depending on dates).
We usually only send this newsletter via our mailing list but thought we would add it to a blog post on this occasion given the nature of our ramblings as hopefully, they will be of interest and relevance to you all! If you would like to register your email address to receive our newsletter and any other special offers we may have from time to time you can do so via our facebook page here:
Category: Collaboration, Experiences, featured, Hedgelaying, Hurdle Making, Newsletter, Willow Workshops, WorkshopsTags: Country Crafts, Events, featured, Hedgelaying Training Courses, Hurdle Making Training Courses, Newsletter, Rustic Wedding, surreyhills, Workshop
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