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Tuesday 14 August 2012

Benches at Stoke Park, Lockleaze

Last week, a group of young people worked with Steve England, Anna and I to install some larch benches at Stoke Park in Lockleaze, Bristol.

First, we cleaned off the bark using drawknives and scrapers.
I had previously cut the trunks in half with a chainsaw, so the participants all used drawknives, planes and chisels to smooth the surfaces. We then cut in mortices so that the roundwood legs would fit into the seats nicely. The legs were fixed on with coach screws, then the benches were installed (after a lot of hard work by everyone digging holes!). Finally, the benches were joined with coach screws and the recesses that the screws were in were capped with larch plugs.

As well as pitching in with the hard work on the benches, Steve led a few bushcraft walks when everyone needed a break and Anna sorted some great food out on the campfire. The photo above shows the smoke drifting through the woods.

The hexagonally-shaped benches will have a fire pit put into the centre this week and will be used for outdoors workshops by Steve, as well as being there for local people to enjoy when they are in the woods. Having a purpose-built  fire pit will hopefully also protect the roots of nearby trees (such as a beautiful old yew tree) from damage by random fires all about the site.
The larch used was very kindly donated to the project by our friends at Touchwood Enterprises in Bristol. You can have a look at their website by clicking on the link here.

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