Julia Hailes MBE

Sustainability Pioneer


Down in the woods (Apr10)

Shower made from living willow



My sons spent a couple days of their holidays in the woods. They were trying out Guy Mallinson’s Woodland Workshops.

The setting is magical, particularly as Spring was in the air. I was particularly intrigued at the new shower block, made from living willow – as the foliage becomes more dense users will be less exposed to being spied on (see picture above). Not surprisingly, most of the structures are made from wood and are rather beautiful. Less expected is the woodburning pizza oven but I didn’t see it fired up.

On the first day my children grumbled a bit about the early start but they didn’t complain at all on Day 2. They made bows and arrows, reed bracelets and woodland shelters. They learnt how to make fire, tie knots and survive outside. Real boys own stuff. But there were girls there too and they appeared to be just as happy.

Guy Mallinson, who has set up the enterprise, offers courses for adults too – carving totem poles, charcoal drawings, primitive pottery or making wooden bowls and garden gates. And the venue is available for parties and other events too.

If you want to go down to the woods, I’d recommend it.

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