The smell of woodsmoke and the sound of axes splitting wood and violins playing old Irish tunes drew families to the Green Barn in Leigh Woods, Bristol.
Craft workshops gave people a try at some woodland skills.
Rypelwood Workers Co-op work to revive ancient skills of sustainable use of woodland products. Coppicing is a way of harvesting useful wood without killing the tree. It is cut and the stump re-sprouts multiple trunks.
The woodland is harvested in rotation, and woodland flowers grow in the cleared sections.
Coppicing has been done for thousands of years and it is good for biodiversity.
Spoon carving was going well. Learners shaped pieces of green wood with a small axe. They hollowed out the bowl of the spoon with a curved knife.
Basketmaking involved big bundles of green willow shoots.
Weaving green willow, even beginners made a basket in an hour or two.
Some people worked with bigger logs of newly cut wood.
Workers with green wood use wedges, froes and mauls to split along the grain, instead of sawing. The wood fibres are not cut so it keeps its maximum strength.
An adze or a drawknife will shape and smooth the wood. For garden gates and trelisses, the split pieces look good just as they are.
The early January sunset lit up the smoke from the fire and musicians gathered in the barn to play as the day ended.
Information: the Greeenwood Barn was built about 20 years ago using wood cut from the surrounding forest. It is usually just a shelter for walkers but events like this take place from time to time.
Access is from the A369 Bristol – Portishead road. Travelling from Bristol, pass through the traffic lights where the B3129 goes off to the left. The barn is down a track on the right a short way after the lights. Cars can be parked by the track and the barn is signposted down a footpath. There are mountain bike trails as well as footpaths running through the woods. The woods are beautiful at any time of year but paths can be muddy after rain.
Green woodworking tools are available from Bristol Design toolshop in Perry Road, Bristol.