A New Location For Bushcrafters in the North East?

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rancid badger

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
I met up with a lad today, to take a look at the woodland he's been working for the last three years or so. His name is Gary and the woodland, about 40 acres or so, is only a ten minute drive from my place, yet I had no idea he or it existed!:eek:

The wood was last "worked" more than 30 years ago, not a long time but enough to allow plenty of strong young birch, ash, beech,hazel, alder and a mix of conifers to settle down again and create a stunning little bit of "other world" tranquility. Just far enough off the beaten track to not have numerous bike trails, litter or signs of vandalism but close enough to be accessible to invited guests.

At the moment, Gary harvests top grade broadleaf firewood, seasons it for two years, then sells it, but He's wanting to diversify and get into more craft based activities, like charcoal production, green woodworking,hazel coppicing,hurdle making and potentially, wild camping provision and some basic bushcraft events.

At the moment, the wood looks a bit bleak, damp and skeletal, like all woodlands but come the spring, it'll take off.

This is his current base for operations, typical of small woodland enterprises, with the ruts and mud etc but that's a good sized log cabin he built himself, under the blue tarps!;)

Obviously needs a bit of work with a bit of clay and a turf roof but loads of potential there.

The wood is located in a small valley, with a lovely little stream running through it.



It's been planted in the past but I'd say there's more broadleaf than conifer.

The tracks are in very good nick and you can get around very easily and if needed quite quickly


The wildlife is quite prolific too, in 20 mins, we saw two deer within about 30m of us, loads of birds including Jays, tree creepers, a load of "spuggies" ( generic Geordie term for assorted small brown birds:eek:) and of course the Derwent Valley Red Kites, soaring overhead.



The tracks take you around a bit of a circuit, a little bit of up and a little bit of down,



with loads of potential for bivvys and basha's, as well as open fires too.

certainly plenty of good hammocking sites.
not to mention tents


There are some grand old tree's in there as well, this beech is bigger than anything in my 'other' local woodland, Chopwell Wood and according to the "Friends of Chopwell Wood" their "huge beech tree's" are one of their "main interest points":rolleyes:

The photo, as ever with my photography, doesn't do this grand old tree any favours, as I missed the base of it:eek: But take it from me, it's massive!


Gary at one of the current worksites ( shxxe photo!:()




The potential for a top class, "go as you please" 'wild' camp site alone is excellent. With a possibility of "drive in and camp" for anyone with a decent 4x4:D

I can definitely see some "meets" being organised here, Gary is keen to get going with craft skills related stuff, so I'll keep you all informed as and when things develop.

cheers

Steve
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,499
1,621
S. Lanarkshire
That sounds and looks like a beautiful site :D
I hope it thrives for him, and if he's amenable to having space for folks like you, so much the better :approve:

atb,
M
 

rancid badger

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
That sounds and looks like a beautiful site :D
I hope it thrives for him, and if he's amenable to having space for folks like you, so much the better :approve:

atb,
M
He's genuinely mad keen, to be honest Mary. He's a nice, genuine lad with his feet on the ground and he loves what he's doing but needs to develop things a bit.

I'm champing at the bit to get back over there to be honest:eek:

best wishes

Steve
 

gaz1210

Member
Feb 13, 2013
25
0
Durham
www.facebook.com
Hi Gaz here, many thanks to the badger for such a great write up! do i make the cheque payable to Rancid?????:lmao: but seriously I this how i make my money and it all helps towards the conservation of this lovely part of Ancient woodland and it's resources so please come and take a look round, start a fire
we are at https://www.facebook.com/CowcloseWood and we need all the help we can get, especially from people like the members of this site, We want to bring these skill's back so they are everyday knowledge and bring families closer together in the process, heavy i know...lets just have a fire eah?!:eek:
 

Maxwellol

Tenderfoot
Feb 10, 2013
90
0
Manchester
Amazing. How the heck do you get your hands on a little bit of wilderness like that? Did he win the lottery or something? Or is he just working for whoever owns the land?
 

rancid badger

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Amazing. How the heck do you get your hands on a little bit of wilderness like that? Did he win the lottery or something? Or is he just working for whoever owns the land?
He's renting it for now, he's been working it for three years, basically renovating it really, as it hadn't been touched for over thirty years. To be honest, he's in a similar situation to that Rob Penn character, who was "running" Strawberry Cottage Wood"
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00zw4xz


Although, Gary hasn't got the luxury of being a journalist or TV presenter "playing at it" and having any number of "hangers on", to give him a hand and buy his woodland products, to look good in front of the cameras etc:rolleyes:

As soon as I get some firm info on how things are going to progress, I'll pass on contact details.

cheers

Steve
 

rancid badger

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
looks like a good spot for a bushcraft bothy ??? http://www.simondale.net/shelter.htm any chance he would be up for something thing like this ??? :)
I doubt it, planning permission would indeed be the main issue. I'm going to take another look around this afternoon if possible and I'll hopefully come back with some firm info on what the plan is regarding bush/craft/camping activities.

Steve
 
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