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Friday 27 June 2014

Celebrating the Braishfield Oak: Running carving workshops at Braishfield School in Hampshire

Braishfield primary school is in the rural village of Braishfield in Hampshire. A large old oak tree used to grow in its playground and was the symbol of the school and of the village.

Unfortunately the tree became infected with honey fungus and was going to die, so the difficult decision was made to cut it down before it became dangerous.

The school wanted to give the children a way of remembering the tree and so they decided to get me in to run carving workshops, using pieces of timber from the old oak to carve on.

The children could not only learn about carving but also take home their bits of wood as mementos. I spent a day cleaving parts of the oak into lumps, which were then sanded to remove splinters and make them easier to carve on.

Nearly sixty pupils at the school, aged between five and ten years old, then got the chance to try woodcarving over the next couple of days.

The weather was hot and sunny and everyone seemed to have a great time. Even the teachers and school staff got to try out their carving skills!

Thanks to the school for inviting me over and for a very enjoyable few days in Hampshire.

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