Saturday, 9 October 2010

Shelters Below a Canopy of Needles

A few years ago I attended a meeting called by an anxious resident of a wood I often walk. The forestry commission were considering developing the wood and were using terms such as "no firm ideas but a possibility of business units" and "blue sky thinking with experts", all words that made those of us that use the wood very nervous regarding its fate.

One gentlemen at the meeting made mention of the fact that the children from the near by area were on occasion making shelters within the wood under his supervision. Thankfully it seems that nothing has come of the idea to develop the wood and last night I spotted a new shelter beneath the canopy of the pine trees.

The shelter was unoccupied, but there was little doubt of the skill involved in its placement and structure. Sitting in the light undergrowth among the tall trunks it was sheltered from the winds. Its main opening faced south towards a clearing. This would no doubt allow the warmth of the sun into the shelter in the morning. It was made from branches and sticks gathered from the area and carefully put together to ensure it would be unlikely to collapse during a windy night.

To me it was a splendid sight, a simple thing that showed ingenuity and respect for the surroundings, a superb way to use the wood and a demonstration crafting.

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