I made a quick visit yesterday to this lovely coppice at Lochore Meadows Country Park:

There’s plenty of evidence of recent work (and picnics?) by volunteers and ranger Dallas Seawright. Each compartment of the coppice woodland is looking great. The hazel is growing well, there are less spruce trees than I remember and the big oaks, birch and other hardwoods look happy in their clear spaces.

I scavenged some twigs from the ground near the fire pit, sat on a mossy log and made a very quick prototype ‘nest’, as an idea for Spring workshops.

I remember making a nest before and realising very quickly that birds must use a ‘stitching’ technique, holding the materials at the thick end, pushing through, catching, pulling through and winding. There must be video footage out there to watch. I had the advantage of secateurs for trimming stray twigs. With the next nest I’ll take my time and use no tools. I wonder if birds stand back from their work in progress, cock their heads, assess and decide where the next piece should go?

I bumped into the ranger as I was leaving the wood and reassured him that I hadn’t been stealing sticks from the neat piles he’d set aside for pea-sticks and brooms.

Benarty families skillshare

I don’t have many action photos of my workshops, we’re usually too busy! However, Diane caught some good ones today:





We were experimenting with bendy twigs, making hearts and wreaths and Valentine’s Day gifts. All with the intention of sharing ideas for using local materials in creative activities for families.

This series of workshops is funded by the Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership.