Hazel, willow, beef and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Inspiration at Rawhaw Wood

Rawhaw Wood in early November

Rawhaw Wood in early November

Last week we had a trip to Northamptonshire to visit Caroline Church and Hugh Ross who own, manage and live in Rawhaw Wood.

Trading under the name Hazel Woodland Products, Hugh and Caroline, were kind enough to spare a couple of hours to show Jane, myself and our friends and makers of things, Martin and Michelle, around their wonderful 20 acre wood. As the name of their business suggests, they cut hazel, producing all sorts of products – pea sticks, bean poles, hedge stakes… they also have (and this is something I’m very jealous of) a mill for processing firewood used primarily to fill charcoal kilns during the summer. It was superb to see an old wood in cycle and producing a living for these lovely people; in return for a massive amount of work over seventeen years. And then there’s their house in the wood which is completely wonderful – tranquil, beautiful, full of light even on a dull autumn morning.

I was bowled over by everything we saw, but really, what stood out was both Hugh and Caroline’s focus on what they are doing. These are people who live and breathe their wood. I admire them enormously for it and hope that inspirartion might rub off a little on what we are doing with our small wood.

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