Green Wood Fair marks culmination of county-wide Festival

There was plenty of wood smoke, glowing embers for cooking and the sound of buzzing chainsaws at Leighton Hall near Carnforth for the final event of the Cumbria Wood and Forestry Festival.

The Green Wood Fair attracted hundreds of visitors to enjoy an autumn day of events, demonstrations and activities around the theme of energy from our woodlands.

The Festival’s Project Manager, Iris Glimmerveen of Woodland Inspirations said: “We had over 30 exhibitors at the Green Wood Fair and they represented everything from the arts and forest food foraging to British Loggers chainsaw demonstrations and information about the latest wood fuel boilers.”

Exhibitors at the Fair included Gareth Thomas from The National Trust, showing how the Trust heats its cottages in the area using wood fuels, Winston Collinge from Cumbria Green Fuels, talking about the range of biomass fuels available in Cumbria and Will Barden from Barden Biomass, explaining the different biomass systems for different buildings.

A new book, Coppicing and Coppice Crafts by Rebecca Oaks and Edward Mills, was launched during the Fair and sold nearly 40 copies during the day.

Iris said: “There’s lots of interest in the skills and approaches to caring for our woodlands on all scales and we know from experience that Forest Schools and other activities are spreading that energy and enthusiasm to the younger generations.  If the Festival events have helped some of those young people to find out more about how they can stay involved in championing trees and contributing to our landscape, we’ve achieved one of our aims.”

The Leighton Hall event was the last of a series across Cumbria that have made up the Cumbria Wood and Forestry Festival.  The late Alan Shepley, who died earlier this month, was Secretary of the Wood Education Programme Trust and one of the initiators of the Festival.

Edward Mills of Cumbria Woodlands said: “It is hard to put into words how sorry we all were that Alan wasn’t around to enjoy the last event of the Festival but he’d certainly have been pleased with the turnout and level of enthusiasm and interest in all things to do with our Cumbrian woodlands.  Over the six events of the year-long festival, we’ve involved over 100 different businesses and organisations and attracted at least 15,000 people.  The success of the Festival is very much down to Alan and I hope that the ongoing projects and events will be a lasting legacy from his energy and enthusiasm.”