Swallows and Earthburn!

A couple of pictures of the recent charcoal earthburn event organised by Brian Crawley and Dan Sumner at Glas Knott Wood, commemorating the filming of an earthburn in that exact location for the Swallows and Amazons film 50 years ago. We/they may do another one at some point. Watch this space…

Covering the stack of burning logs with turf.
Cooling of the spoils before bagging up.

In case you’re wondering what an earthburn is (and you’d be forgiven to wonder, especially as we don’t have many photos here to explain things!)… Basically, you pile up some logs, set fire to them, cover them in earth to cut out the oxygen, then let the wood gently cook overnight. The next day you have a pile of charcoal, perfect for cooking on! This method of making charcoal was still being used commercially into the last century. Brian has done great work over the years in re-learning the process, and passing on his knowledge to others.

Earthburn at Ickenthwaite, Rusland Fri28th-Mon31st Sept.

Dan Sumner is leading this with support of Coppice Association North West, Lake District Planning Board, Cumbria Woodlands, Rusland Horizons, and the Arthur Ransome Society. The burn is to be a 50th year celebration of the filming of the Swallows and Amazons film visit to the charcoal burners as well as the making of the Mike Dow film “The Charcoal Burners of High Furness” with Jack Allonby and Bill Norris and the David Jones book photographs of Jack Allonby and Bill Norris burn all at this site.
There is no money in it but all are welcome to attend any part of it.
Please contact Dan directly if you want to come or for more information.
[email protected] / 015394 37844.

An Old Cumbrian Charcoal Burner!

Graeme Lindley has kindly sent in some photos that were given to him by a charcoal customer in Flookborough. Apparently an old relative of hers was a charcoal burner working in South Lakes & she had these old photos that might be of interest! I’ve no further details I’m afraid, but thought some of you might be interested in the glimpse of local history.