The end of May brought the half-term holiday and time for another spell out in the woods.
We moved further down into the woods for the adventure challenges of trail laying and fire lighting. We finally achieved the cooking of popcorn without actually setting it on fire.
Kim set a challenge to build a platform house 1 metre off the ground that would be weatherproof and withstand her bucket of water test. The standard of knotting was excellent beneath the canopy but and there was some creative design work. Despite appearances there was general enjoyment and all stayed mostly dry.
Team 2 took a slightly different approach and would have kept their feet drier had a storm swept by –
On the final day we were joined by some more young people and also by Adventures R Us with slack rope and high ropes. Some of us were very happy to keep our feet on the ground.
Meanwhile James the Ranger was running his own set of challenges to travel across the forest floor without stepping in molten lava. Just as well there wasn’t any or there would have been some roasted toes.
But the best thing of all was seeing the smiles on the faces of our two very serious young men. Hooray…
Saturday April 30th brought the sunshine and more than 300 people came out to see the bluebells. The signs of Spring were all around and with inspiration from Ignite Imagination artist Aimee Hickman, everyone was soon gathering up the tiniest seeds, leaves and flower heads to create beautiful mandala patterns.
The festival was organised with the help of the 61st Sheffield Scouts(Wincobank) who had got involved with Roots of Iron earlier with the Light Up the Hill project. They set up their camp kitchen and impressed us all with their award winning cooking – serving up cups of tea, freshly baked bread and fish baked in wet newspaper … all very tasty.
Roots of Iron is a partnership project supported by the Sheffield City Council Woodland Service so all the Rangers were out in force sharing their skills: charcoal making, willow weaving, and encouraging passers-by to try out their skills with natural art in a competition. The winning entries were posted 20 May 2016 on .facebook.com/sheffieldparks
The scouts were both providers and participants at this event. Artist blacksmith Tim Puddephatt was busy tutoring first timers in the art of black-smithing with impressive results:
Some very enthusiastic students from the University of Sheffield Department of Archaeology gave a breath-taking demonstration of how bronze was smelted and moulded to make Iron Age axe heads and on this occasion bluebells.. The Roots of Iron crew provided the person power for the bellows to keep the fire roaring.
In all, more than 300 people passed by that day and had a taste of the past and a stroll in the bluebell woods. Just a stone’s throw from the M1 but so peaceful and oh so beautiful.
Woolley Woods has the best display of British bluebells – so all the visitors say. It is a magical sight. So one Tuesday evening in April the young people from the youth club set off to walk down the hill to Woolley Woods armed with cameras – only to be caught in a blizzard. Undaunted, they continued on and when they reached the Lost Gateway (whereon are carved mysterious Viking Runes telling the ancient legend of the last Woolley Wolf) – they were surprised to find a pack of very young Beavers, of the scouting variety, out painting the bluebells.
Young people and youth workers took some stunning photos some of which are featured in this post, but unfortunately they all got rather mixed up so it is impossible to say whose is whose …
We had agreed that on some Tuesday evenings we would hold Young Roots activities at Wincobank Youth Group for any young people who wanted to join in.
James the Ranger showed how to make bird feeders from pine cones and peanut butter and Jon Harrison came back to explain how to edit the Hue and Cry film so that Rudi and Dylan could do it themselves. Penny came in with a bag of clay and a clay green man face – rather weird looking with leaves sprouting everywhere. We made faces which Anna fired for us in her kiln,
We were so impressed with the shelter Beck had made in February, that we began to wonder how people in those days made luxury homes and what is might have been like to live in one so in the next holidays, at Easter, we made our own house – well part of one…
It was a bit draughty, rather dangerous with no door to lock, but felt quite friendly without fences and walls every where. So we started thinking about life in a village and we thought we would make a little film to show primary children a slice of olden days life.
Dylan told us about the ancient law of Hue and Cry whereby a criminal had to be driven out of the village or the whole village would be held responsible. There was no time to write a script so with a little direction the actors improvised while Thomas and Alex filmed the action. Watch our mini movie here: Wincobank Hue and Cry on YouTube
The winter months are bleak but beautiful high on Wincobank Hill. It’s difficult to imagine how folks survived here thousands of years ago, when all there was was wood, wool and woad.
We spent a day in the woods trying to imagine what it might have been like. We were cold and hungry – so we lit a fire, cooked pancakes and then set fire to the popcorn… After some practice the lads lit the kelly kettles and brewed up. And then Beck built an amazing shelter from dead wood and leaves but we all agreed it would have been a chilly place to sleep.
A Ghostly Night Out
There was quite a buzz in Wincobank in November 10th. There were children in the chapel garden carrying the lanterns they had made at school, parents tagging along not wanting to be left out.
Up at the hillfort student archaeologists stoked their fiery furnace, the piper played her weird tune and the Ghosts of Wincobank, decked out in illuminated finery and a dab of blue face paint hid in the bushes, ready to frighten the life out of unsuspecting lantern bearers.
The Brigantes waited to re-enact once again the account set out by Tacitus of the fateful night when Caratacus came to rouse the locals to rebel against the Romans and once again Queen Cartimandua struggled with the dilemma of what she was going to do.
A Roots of Iron film crew hovered to capture the excitement of the night and record the comments of the crowd. And here it is – filmed and edited by the young people of Wincobank – Light Up The Hill – click here.
Be part of a spectacular project this half term led by Growtheatre – if designing, making or performing are your thing then get in touch now! You will be creating weird and wonderful street performances to appear at the Light Up The Hill event, 10 November 2015. The performances will take place outdoors in the dark on Wincobank Hill. During the half term project you will:
– Explore how to use Wincobank Hill as a performance space
– Devise street performances for different locations on the hill
– Learn how to create dramatic lighting effects
– Design and make costumes and props
Dates and Times:
Wednesday 28th to Thursday 29th October 2pm to 7pm.
Monday 09 November 4pm – 7pm
for an evening rehearsal on the hill
Tuesday 10th November 4pm – 7pm
for the performance at Light Up The Hill Event
Meet at Wincobank Chapel, Wincobank Avenue, Sheffield S5 6BB
Click here to fill in a booking form, or ring Catherine Nuttgens on 0114 2736199 (email firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like the form in another format, or have any other questions.
It’s getting to that time of year again when the people of Wincobank don sturdy shoes and grab a lantern to celebrate one of Sheffield’s great ancient monuments – Wincobank Iron Age Hillfort.
To be part of the fun, Roots of Iron will be running the following activities for young people:
Theatre Workshops. Work with light and sound and be part of making make the procession magical!
Blacksmithing Workshops. Try your hand at smithing and make Wincobank ring with the sound of the anvil again! Make something to take home and be proud of.
Lantern workshops. Make your own lantern for the procession. it could be a lantern for someone little to carry or a huge sculpture: the choice is yours!
Most activities will happen at Half term and be based at Wincobank Chapel.
Details to follow in the next day or two – if you have any questions email email@example.com, or ring 0114 2736199
Thursday 27th August 5.45pm at the Red Deer Pub, Pitt Street, Sheffield
Through the Woods and under the Earth
Fun ways to learn about Sheffield’s landscape history
I will be talking a bit about how we have helped people enjoy and understand the natural and archaeological heritage in the city, and then the audience will be able to have a go at some activities themselves. You should all be able to take something home!🙂
For information about Archaeology and Ale please click here