Green Woodworking with children

My journey into green woodworking began really whilst working at an outdoor play project on the outskirts of Torquay. I would drag my shave horses through the woodland and set them up and the whittling would begin. The extraordinary thing is that during the three years I was involved with play Torbay, of all the countless children I entrusted with my tools, none - not even one - complained it was boring.  I can think of very few activities so physically demanding and skillful that would captivate children week in week out, sometimes for hours on end. There is a very immediate pleasure in seeing the fresh shavings peel off your stick from the edge of a razor sharp tool. Their perseverance and dedication was complete. Who cares if it your stick is getting shorter and shorter! If there is practically nothing left of it! I heard that these pointed sticks were carefully stored out of sight, under floor boards or at the bottom of wardrobes. Treasured.

We had a few nicks from the knife, but nothing ever that couldn’t be remedied with a sticking plaster. When so much of our children’s lives is cosseted and protected for the fear of insurance claims, (For it is rarely the fault of the Health and Safety Executive who have saved probably more lives than all the emergency services put together) it is refreshing to see the delight and dedication in children’s faces as they work away, gaining skill and understanding and strength.

Peter LanyonComment