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Visitors discover crafts from the past still going strong
ANCIENT woodland crafts and skills were revived at Worcester Woods Country Park.
The nature reserve hosted a variety of activities as part of its annual Woods Alive event.
Willow weaving, wood turning and hurdle making were some of the crafts visitors were invited to have a go at, while also learning about the life of a working woodland.
Heavy horses Holly and Ivy, of Bromyard-based Crunchie’s Cobs, were put through their paces, demonstrating why their pulling power is still used in modern forestry work.
Shane Buckingham, who works with Crunchie’s Cobs, said: “Holly and Ivy are traditional or Romany cobs. To compare them to other breeds, big shires are like the tractors of the horse world whereas these are more like transit vans. They take good size loads and they’re quick.
“They’re getting much more popular. We’ve got a couple of contracts where work is on a hill and you don’t have environmental issues such as oil or fuel leaking from a vehicle.
“We do some work on an old fort and the contractors didn’t want to damage the stonework so they chose to use the horses.
“People don’t know much about the horses and doing these events shows them exactly what they’re capable of.
“They’re always popular.”
Tanya Feasey, ranger at Worcester Woods Country Park, said Woods Alive was an opportunity to show members of the public a working wood in action.
She said: “This wood is a working wood that dates back to the time of Henry VIII. Visitors seem to really enjoy the event and they’re often fascinated because they don’t realise how many products can be made from a working wood.
“For thousands of years we have been making these things and it’s great for people to see them demonstrated and also get to have a go.”