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 …