South Yorkshire comes out of the wood work
October 11, 2007
Massive machines such as the Heizohack chipper which keeps the region’s biomass boilers fuelled rolled into the city park and set up stall for the day alongside traditional woodcraft people and tree workers. The wide range of activities and demonstrations – from timber frame building to tree felling to charcoal making – captured the imagination of all that came and showed the diverse uses of local timber to an eager audience.
Highlights of the day included the Makita Speed Chainsaw Carving competition, the Willow Labyrinth Workshop and the ‘Man Vs Machine’ bowl turning challenge. A huge crowd gathered to watch the chainsaw carvers in action and clapped Lorraine Botterill to victory with her swift sculpture of a rams head. Lorraine scooped a brand new Makita chainsaw along with the glory of the popular vote!
For the second year running Man outwitted Machine in the bowl turning contest – but it was a very close shave…Mike Smethurst on the machine lathe was one turn ahead until the very last moment when he began to crack up – or rather his bowl did – putting Robin Wood’s pedal power into pole position in this very close run race!
Meanwhile the all-day willow workshop weaved some magic around younger visitors who created a labyrinth that would later amaze the evening crowds when it became the setting for a spectacular pyrotechnic show, ‘Queen of the Forest’ bringing Wood Fair to a close with an autumnal celebration.
As in previous years, core funding for the South Yorkshire Forest Partnership led event came from an Objective 1 Forestry Resources Grant for promoting the regions timber industries. With Objective 1funding schemes closing at the start of 2008, the Partnership is now seeking new ways to fund this increasingly popular event. Alistair Farr, Timber Industries Officer for the South Yorkshire Forest commented: “Wood Fair works really well as a networking hub for the timber and wood industries in South Yorkshire, at the same time being an engaging and enlightening event for the community as a whole. My challenge over the coming months will be to find new resources and strategies to make sure Wood Fair 2008 takes place as it would be very sad if South Yorkshire lost this key event.”