Some of the most fascinating age-old skills and crafts have survived until today, mainly thanks to the dedication of people determined to keep our countryside heritage alive.

And many of these will be on show, with dedicated and skilled artisans demonstrating these traditional crafts and explaining why, despite the quickening strides of technology, these skills still play a part in our current world.

Come and meet some of the most talented and devoted craftspeople in Britain in this special area. Learn about beekeeping and taxidermy, furniture and glass making or willow weaving. In some cases you’ll even be able to try out some of these craft skills for yourself.

bees

Beekeeping

The British Beekeepers Association aims to educate the general public and give them an appreciation of the important part they can play, together with beekeepers, in securing our bees’ future. The Association will be promoting beekeeping and the importance of pollinating insects to our way of life and food production.

The beekeeping area celebrates biodiversity and encourages people to plant trees, shrubs and flowers that will help feed and nurture pollinating insects.

Look out for a demonstration hive of live bees along with the chance to buy honey and bee products such as candles, honeycomb and beeswax – all natural products from the bees.

basket making

Basket making

Maggie Cooper will be providing a demonstration and a display of historical local baskets, fish traps and contemporary willow and basketwork, willow sculpture and straw work.

A Yeoman member of the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers since 2014, Maggie teaches in the UK and other countries including Sweden, Austria and France.

Using old techniques, Maggie creates figurative and conceptual pieces of art that have been on display all over the country.

Chair making

Taylormade Chairs: Neil Taylor produces handcrafted, primitive-style chairs with a contemporary feel that combine comfort, elegance and function – perfect for any type of setting in home or office. He usses native Herefordshire hardwoods such as oak and ash, alongside metals such as gold leaf, brass and solder. Using wire wool (iron) and vinegar (acid) he is able to produce a beautiful dark colour in his work simply by allowing the natural chemistry of the tannin in oak to react with them.

Peter Tree Chairs: Peter Tree’s speciality is quality chairs, skilfully crafted using fine, home-grown hardwoods. His designs are a blend of selected design features, specialist knowledge and years of experience to create both traditional and contemporary seating, many depicting carved themes of British flora and fauna.

Glass blowing

E&M Glass: A family run, artisan blown-glass studio that was started more than 30 years ago by Ed and Margaret Burke. Specialising in etched tableware, the studio is now run with their eldest Charlie and daughter-in-law Amelia Burke, working as a team to create a breadth of different work, with much of it depicting wildlife scenes.

Based on the Welsh/Cheshire border, they also work with many large retail companies and clients from around the globe, including Fortnum & Mason, Four Seasons Hotels, the Museum of the Home and Game of Thrones.

Net making

Nick Dadd has been hand-making nets for ferreting since he was 12 years old and will be showcasing many of his skills over the weekend, most notably demonstrating the art of producing a net that can catch a rabbit. He will also be selling hand-carved walking sticks, churns and stools.

Willow weaving

Willowpool Designs started life almost 45 years ago. Steve and partner Simone Siegan grow their own willow, teach and demonstrate willow wearing throughout the country and run courses for others to learn this ancient traditional craft. They specialise in working with individuals, community, conservation/environment groups and schools to create willow structures that enhance parks, school grounds and gardens. They also work to commission and can create unique and durable living structures for play, shelter or habitat.

Rural boundary display

The National Hedgelaying Society is the only charity dedicated to maintaining the traditional skills of hedgelaying and encouraging the sympathetic management of hedgerows for wildlife and landscape. The Society encourages the development of hedgerow-management skills through demonstration, the provision of strucutred training with a skills award system and through competition. The Society also encourages landowners and occupiers to utilise the services of those skilled in the craft of hedgelaying to manage their hedgerows for the benefit of wildlife and the environment. The correct management of our hedgerows is essential to conserve wildlife and landscape for future generations.

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