Wood work in the Dales

April 27, 2010

Our People and the DALES team are really starting to get busy with activities out in the Dales now that Spring has arrived. One of Judy’s groups recently lent a hand to the Bodger at Bolton Abbey – working in the woods.

Richard Law is the bodger on the Bolton Abbey estate. During winter he fells certain trees to make way for others to grow and to open up the forest floor so that wild flowers can flourish. The cut timber then has to be moved before the leaves start to come out on the trees.

This year because of the severe winter Richard has not been able to extract the timber in time for the budding season. And thats where we stepped in along with a group of refugees from Darwen who responded to the plea for help. The group have taken part in lots of activities organized by YDMT’s outreach project ‘People and the DALES’ and came out to Bolton Abbey for the day to lend a hand.

“It was hard work lifting huge logs from the steep slopes but everybody got stuck in and we collected two trailer loads of timber which were taken to the Bodger’s camp in the wood. It would have taken Richard two weeks to move this timber by himself but with our help we got the job done in a couple of hours,” says YDMT’s community worker Judy.

Richard then took us to his camp and talked about his work. He demonstrated how he makes a rounder’s bat using a chisel and a leg powered laithe he has made himself. The way he works fascinated the group – many of whom originate from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan where using this kind of tools is common place.