Perhaps you like the idea of becoming a charcoal burner, maybe you just want to turn some unwanted waste wood into a valuable product or perhaps you just want to experience the magic of spending the night in the woods and making charcoal the traditional way, either way there is an event you might like to take part in coming up in August.
From 11th to the 13th August Alan and Jo Waters of Wildwood charcoal are running their annual earthburn in the woods on the West Dean Estate near Chichester. Alan kicks the earthburn off on the 11th August which celebrates the feast day of St Alexander, the patron saint of Charcoal burners. But this year as well as demonstrating the ancient craft of burning charcoal in an earth covered clamp they have assembled a team of charcoal burners to burn with a steel ring kiln and a new design of mobile retort at the same time. It’s always a great event, very atmospheric at the beautiful site in the West Dean woods and this year it will be a unique opportunity to compare the past, the present and the future of charcoal burning.
As is the way these days the event has to have a name, so it’s the CharFest in the Woods. You can participate in the event for a small cost per day – to book your place contact Jo Waters at Wildwoodcoppice@btinternet.com – and dare I mention that it may be your last chance to see the old man hobbling – and be able to run away faster – before he gets his new bionic knees (only joking Alan!)