Organisers overwhelmed with positive feedback on first Festival of the Forest

More than 500 people turned out to the first ever Festival of the Forest at the weekend.

Woodcarver Andy Pearson of Ludlow demonstrates how to make a bowl at the first Festival of the Forest
Woodcarver Andy Pearson of Ludlow demonstrates how to make a bowl at the first Festival of the Forest

The Friends of Mortimer Forest also benefited by signing up more than 130 people at Sunday's event at Monstay Farm, near Ludlow.

Colin Richards, chairman of the Friends of Mortimer Forest, said the charity was only set up nine months ago and already has between 5-600 members and 1,000 followers.

"We are really pleased with the support from the local community and the really tremendous support from local craftspeople," said Mr Richards. "We were so pleased."

The organisers created a living history village at the farm in Burrington where crafts such as charcoal burning, rope making and basket weaving.

It was promoted as a celebration of forestry crafts, products, plants and wildlife of this unique woodland on the Welsh Border, which is being turned from a conifer woodland to one for native species.

But there is also an eye on the possible impacts of climate change, and how it can be more resilient.

Mr Richard thinks concern for all things environmental and woodland related helped in bringing so many people out with their £5 a head entry fees.

"The real success was people connecting with others who have a common interest and it brought those people together. We had a really special day and we have been overwhelmed with the feedback."

As for a similar event next year, Mr Richards said they would be taking stock and decide how to go forward and build on the event now it is proven as something of a crowd puller.

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