Wooden It Be Crafty

Projects

Wooden It Be Crafty

Discover the Wondrous Wildlife of Woodlands

An exciting 3-year project based at Cromer’s Wood in Sittingbourne funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund to reconnect people to the crafts and skills of traditional woodland management that benefit both wildlife and people.

Find out about the plants and animals that live here in this unique woodland Cromer's Wood, as it changes over time. Discover how the woodland provides all that they need.

Wooden it be crafty - pencil making

Making pencils with Wooden It Be Crafty

Adventures in Woodlands with lots to Make and Do

An ancient coppice woodland offers up many unique habitats to explore as well as a range of different materials that can be turned into many things from a modest tent peg to a woodland bench, or a nature-inspired piece of artwork. Discover the many ways in which coppice materials can be used to make and do.

For further information on this project please contact our project officer Martin Keelor on 07561 855612.

Get in touch

Activities and Events

Opportunities for you and your group to get involved with us, spending time in the wood and helping us to look after this woodland as you develop new skills and make new friends.

5th April 2018                        Secret Tree Stories

31st May 2018                       Pixies & Faeries

21st June                               Whittle & Weave

26th July 2018                      Tree Faces & Mud Monsters

9th August 2018                   Twig & Fix Tree Decoration

15th August 2018                 Evening Bat Walk

16th August 2018                 Moths & Butterflies

23rd August 2018                 Magical Flowers & Clay Creatures

30th August 2018                 Wood Wands & Tree Mobiles

16th September 2018           Portholes of Nature

Check out the Journey So Far

Wooden it be crafty gathering

January to March 2018

Youth forum and the Mini Projects

A new exciting project that we have been developing with the aim to provide the young people of swale a unique opportunity to develop new life skills, this has been supported by the Swale Youth Forum.

We have been trying to develop a mini-project programme for young people to give them some practical life skills such as; financial budgeting, event planning, time and risk management by planning and holding an event for a number of guests to attend. The project focuses on greenwood working and woodland heritage, but really it is all about getting outdoors and having fun.

We have attended two Swale Youth Forum meetings to date to promote these mini projects to the various schools who are involved. The meetings are always fun and informative to attend and it has been great to see the highest level of local government in attendance and answering to the school children.

Cromer’s Wood Improvements

Winter has also provided us with the chance to make some improvements to the reserve such as a brand new custom made sign and the removal of the old bird hide.

Skillnet’s eco shed project is a partner group of Wooden it Be Crafty and their aim is to teach disadvantaged individuals practical skills with the aim of getting them into work. So when we had the chance to create a new sign for the entrance of the reserve we couldn’t think of anyone better for the task.

Coppicing days

During the winter we have had a number of different volunteer groups from our project partners helping us, they have been learning the ancient art of coppicing as a woodland management technique.

There have been three groups so far that have braved the elements to come out on one of our coppicing days; they have all gone away having learned some valuable skills not least of all how to safely fell a tree. Cooking sausages over the fire for lunch has been one of the highlights of each of these events, allowing each group to relax and bond around a fire at lunchtime. Gemma Hayes has been leading these days for us; she is a patient and gentle teacher who has lots of experience of conservation work having worked for both Surrey Wildlife Trust and the Kent High Weald Partnership previously.

Suez Bid And upcoming Changes to Cromer's Wood

At the end of last year, we applied for a funding bid from Suez communities trust so that we could make some improvements to the reserve for its visitors. This bid was successful and the works will be starting soon.

When ‘Wooden it be Crafty’ started we had a project target to seek funding to improve the accessibility to the reserves for disabled visitors and improve experiences for all visitors. So we applied for a funding bid with Suez Communities Trust which we were successful in obtaining.

February till December 2017

A recap of the fantastic first year that the ‘Wooden it Be Crafty’ have had with a number of very successful events run at Cromer's wood as well as a number of events that we have been lucky enough to attend.

For the first year of this project, we have held seven events at Cromer’s Wood exploring themes such as tree ID and the myths and legends that surround them, Butterflies and Moths, Natures’ Favourite Foods and Minibeast hunting. These summer events were well attended and we will have another series of events with different themes over this summer 2018.

We have been running ‘greenwood working workshops’ for some of our partners making Bat boxes, mallets, tent pegs as well as a hand carved memorial sign for the Quays Riverside.

Also, we have taken Wooden it be Crafty on the road to various public events around the Swale area; at Milton Creek Country Park and Oare Gunpowder Works. Lots of people enjoyed making coppice pencils with our pencil making machine and news of the project has been spread throughout the area. 

Partnerships

Lastly, in cooperation with Optivo and Families on our Doorstep project, we ran a 6 week Forest School program based at Cromer's wood one of the few times that forest school has been run at a reserve.

Kathryn Barton the forest school leader summed up the summer program;

In my opinion this project has been a huge success and, during reflection on the last session, we were pleased to see that all parents and children were keen to spend more time in the woods and asked about future family woodland events.

It is nice to see how comfortable everyone appeared to be at spending extended periods of time in the woods showing an increased connection with nature. Their sadness expressed that these regular sessions were coming to an end.

Look out for more Forest School next year!

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