Living and working in the countryside on Exmoor inspires me! One of my goals is to always contribute to my surrounding natural landscape, instead of just taking from it. With this in mind, I have worked for several years in conservation; managing habitats for wildlife. The woods are where I enjoy being most, they excite and relax me at the same time; their ever changing nature keeps me right throughout the seasons.
I believe that in order to best protect these special places they need to be given a value. There is a use it or lose it methodology to conservation; that we in modern times more closely associate with small town banks, shops and post offices. I try to promote the value of British woodlands by creating products that people can use and cherish. In turn I hope a connection is fostered between those people and the woodlands from which these products originate.
I started this adventure after completing a degree in Education Studies / Environmental Education which really peaked my interest in the natural world and how people interact with it. Whilst studying I volunteered for the National Trust, Spending time in the woods managing them as wildlife habitat. During this time I began to see the un-sustainability of relying on charitable donation and government grants alone to manage these places. What happens when the generosity and focus of the powers at be falter? Or if wildlife conservation slips even further down the list of priorities? Is there a balance to be struck between commercial viability and ecological diversity?
In my journey for answers I stumbled across ‘The Woodland Way’, a book written by Ben Law (made famous by channel 4’s Grand Designs (who doesn’t love Kevin Mcloud)). Before I knew it I was living in a small wooden caravan in the middle of a West Sussex Sweet Chestnut coppice, working as Ben's apprentice. After what seemed like a very long winter coppicing, felling trees and sorting sticks into woodland produce. The spring set in and the work changed, creativity became a vocation! And my ever fulfilling journey into greenwood crafts began!
Since then perseverance, dedication and a slightly obsessive nature have taken me on a journey. Into the depths of greenwood craft I went; various projects failed and others succeeded but all of them have aided me and my development and I am better for them. Over the last few years the majority of my craft Items have become more compact household items, rather than larger coppice products. My ambitions however have not condensed!
This website represents a space for me to reach people, a platform for people to reach me, my products and courses, hopefully so people can start similar journeys of their own. A bit much to ask of a website? Possibly but I’m a big believer in the importance of the little things!
I like to balance the destructive nature of modern living with creativity, if you like the sound of that too; perhaps take the time to book on to one of my courses when they become available. Or if you like the look of one of my listed items perhaps make an order! Nothing makes me feel more content than knowing people are using and enjoying the items that I have made.