The speaker for this meeting was Mr Terry Heard, and he arrived with, literally, a truck load of wood and tools, in order to explain to us his work as a coppicer.
First he opened up a wonderful display table to allow us to see the life cycle of a coppiced woodland, explaining how and when the hazel is grown and cut.
He then showed us a fantastic array of products that were gained from the coppiced wood, ranging from pea sticks and bean poles, which he claimed were far superior to bamboo ones, through to rolling pins, tent pegs and besom brooms.
He is one of only three besom broom makers in the country, and makes 4000 a year. He demonstrated how he makes them, with birch twigs and a hazel handle and gave us one to raffle, with Penny Ruck being the lucky winner.
He was a very capable and experienced speaker and much enjoyed. Those of us who had read The Woodlanders, by Thomas Hardy, really felt that the industry he so ably described had barely changed.
Arrangements for the Minimarket down at the Cove, on 14th July were finalised, and I can now report that this was, as usual, a very successful event.
Jen Halsall and Elaine Knight were looking forward to helping in the County WI tea tent when Bestival comes to Lulworth Castle. They had both helped there in previous years and loved the lively atmosphere.
We do not have a meeting in August, but return in September for a talk by Val Palmer on her Travels in China. Visitors and new members would be made most welcome.