Over 120 school children from Andover have learnt forestry skills and woodland management thanks to a partnership project between the charity Andover Trees United and the Englefield Estate.
Over the course of just over a year, Andover Trees United and Englefield Estate put together a three-part learning experience for the schoolchildren involved.
On their first session in October 2019, they ‘met the tree’ and learnt about the importance of woodland spaces and biodiversity. In the second session in February this year, they saw an ash tree being felled and learnt about sustainable forestry management. Shares of the subsequent timber were shared out amongst craftspeople to be used in their work.
Richard Edwards, Forestry Manager at the Englefield Estate, said: “To allow our trees and woodland to thrive for years to come, it is important that the next generation understand the time and expertise that goes into managing areas like this. All of our woodlands are managed under a long-term plan which ensures that a sustainable timber crop is harvested and new trees are planted and cared for.
“It was great to see the children so engaged with the lifecycle of the tree and discovering how many everyday items that they use might have come from a tree like this one. They all really enjoyed planting new trees too and we hope to have inspired them to look after the countryside around them.”
One of the craftspeople is local designer and woodturner Liz Pearson, who has used the ash she was given – a part from the crown of the tree that was divided between numerous artists and crafters - to produce a collection of wooden tableware.
Liz produces contemporary homeware using traditional craft techniques and completely natural resources. She has created a new collection of wooden tableware inspired by the One Ash project, 3 Bears Woodware. You can read more about the process in creating the collection here: https://www.loveheartwood.co.uk/one-ash-2/.
An exhibition of all the finished products from Liz and other craftspeople, along with documentation of the process, will take place in Andover in 2022.
Keep up to date with the work of Andover Trees United on their website www.andovertrees.org.uk.