Thatching spar workshop details

Just a quick note to those who are wishing to attend the thatching spar workshop next Friday.

  • The start time will be 10am
  • The venue will be Sprint Mill, Burneside (
  • If you have any suitable hazel please bring it along for use/discussion etc. There will be some material for the session but it might be helpful to have more & perhaps to compare your own to other grades.
  • Bring a billhook if you want to have a go (or just turn up & observe / ask questions etc… not essential to bring anything)
  • Bring a few coins for the hat if you want to contribute to Graham’s fuel costs. There is no other charge for the session.

Spar training 31st May

  • Spar Making Workshop

Thanks for your replies. This will be held at Sprint Mill on Friday 31st of May.

Graham has offered to run this event for CANW members for free. Perhaps we could ask people to drop a small contribution to his fuel costs into a hat on the day if you feel able?

All welcome, more the merrier.

The idea is for Graham to share his skills and knowledge so that we might be better equipped to develop the thatching spar market in the north of England. There is growing interest from the thatching community in sourcing UK made spars in preference to imports, but currently there is very little supply anywhere in the country to meet the demand, & the skills are fast disappearing.

If you are able, I suggest bringing along some examples of what you “think” a decent gad should look like. There is likely to be discussion about material selection & tolerances, & it would be helpful to have some extra material to work with. If you don’t have access to hazel don’t worry, there will be enough around to enable the session to go ahead.

Meet / start time to follow…

  • Timber Framing Course (September 9-13th) 

Jack Holden is running a timber framing course – please see attached information & contact Jack directly for booking. [email protected]

  • Glass Knott Earthburn

Details still to be confirmed for this, except that it will now be held in late July/August rather than late June as I said in my previous email. Watch this space…

  • Weekend In The Woods

Still a few too many tickets left. Bring your grannie….

CANW Update

Weekend In The Woods,

Still tickets available (which we really need to sell). Thanks for anything you have done to promote this event. Please keep pushing it wherever you can. We need to break even if we are to continue running WITW in the future…

Thatching spars event

We have two possible dates to run a spar training event at Sprint Mill. Please let me know which of these two works best for you. We’ll pick the date that most people respond with & then I’ll send out a general invitation. All welcome, but it would be good to have an idea of numbers. PLEASE RESPOND BEFORE FRIDAY (10th) if you want input into which date is selected

  • Thursday 30th May
  • Friday 31st May (before WITW arrivals)

There is no charge for the event as Graham has very kindly offered to run it for free. We feel that it might be nice to offer him some travel expenses to cover his fuel costs for getting here, so we’ll have a little pot (or basket…?) & if you are able to make a small donation on the day that would be appreciated.

No experience necessary. The idea is for Graham to show the process & standards required to supply the thatching industry with spars so that the skills are preserved & hopefully new markets can be developed for in-rotation hazel in the north of England. I’ll send an invitation out this weekend with the firmed up date.

Moss & Heights Springs Woods FUN DAY on FRIDAY 7th June.

There will be another FUN DAY at Moss & Height Spring Woods, all welcome. There’s more oak bark to peel (for leather tanning, proceeds to BHMAT), plus other things…

Contact Twiggy: for more info & to let her know if you intend to come

Also, a reminder about the additional bark peeling day this Saturday 11th May: contact Dan Sumner if you want to come to this one: 

Ring Kiln for sale

Charles & Shirley Stewart have a double ring kiln to sell. The asking price is £200. You’ll need to collect.

For further details please contact them directly: 

CANW visits

We are hoping to organise a couple of visits to places of interest this year for CANW members. Top suggestions are:

  • The Scottish Crannog Centre on Loch Tay nr Aberfeldy (last year CANW members provided around 10,000 hazel rods for the construction of their iron age village living museum)
  • J & F J Baker’s oak bark tannery in Devon

At this stage we’re gauging interest so we can work out if we can do it by car-share or if we need to hire a bus etc. If you think you might be interested in a long distance trip to somewhere interesting please drop Helen Clarke an email & we’ll see what we can arrange. 

Also, any other suggestions of where CANW might run a trip/visit please shout out.

Another Glass Knott Earthburn

Brian Crawley is organising another earthburn (traditional earth clamp charcoal burn) at Glass Knott Wood this summer (probably the last weekend in June), related to the 50 year anniversary of the filming of Swallows & Amazons, which featured local charcoal burners of the time doing their thing. Volunteers will probably be needed.

Attached is an article that appeared in Camping & Caravanning Magazine ahead of the one he & Dan Sumner did earlier in the year, to give a flavour.

We’ll firm up the details shortly, but for now it would be worth penciling in the date if you fancy popping along or want to volunteer…