By Robert Hersey, Wild Northumbrian
A great shift all around us now as huge banks of snowdrops appear, more abundant than in former years surely, woodpeckers make their return to our garden and a pair of Buzzards return to nest in a big old Downey Birch at Wild Northumbrian. It won’t be long until the air is filled with the beautiful haunting sounds of curlews and lapwings. Spring is coming in all its intensity and with it comes our workshops, handmade Yurts and Tipis and very happy rescued former battery hens.
The landscape around us lives in colour and sound this time of the year and there is a real sense of expectancy in nature, in the farming community and in our own project too. Our facilities which are heated by Air-source energy, in the near future Solar energy, are in the final stages and will provide a really cosy place to recover from hikes, adventures, long walks and exiting days out on bikes!
Our yurts and tipis are all made and all our interiors are now waiting to be united, to create very special accommodation inside and out.
Researching and sourcing our interiors has took us on a real journey, our tipis and yurts will have beautiful reindeer skins from the Saami people. These people herd their Reindeer, use every part of the reindeer for food, clothing, shelter. Reindeer are their way of life and it is wonderful to have these skins in our accommodation.
Our cutlery and bowls are created from recycled plastic and wood, our log baskets- recycled car tyres and our wood burning stoves, fire bowls are handmade from recycled gas bottles by Grant Oatley of Ironshirt.
Our tipis from Hummingbird Tipis are again organic cotton canvas, with hand- painted interiors, reindeer skins, fairtrade lanterns and reclaimed wooden tables designed by local company Trunk Reclaimed which makes for the likes of Gordon Ramsey and River Cottage. These dwellings hark back to the very first structures that man has used for hunting the plains and. It seems appropriate that we are using them now to promote a reconnection with natural world and ancient skills at Wild Northumbrian.
That feeling also followed us when we collected our rescued battery hens. Farplace Animal Rescue sits up a very steep road in the stunning Weardale Valley and is packed to the brim with mistreated or unwanted animals. But with determination and donations this rescue place sticks firmly with the belief of compassion and a quality of life for all living creatures. Our hens were suspicious of the outdoors, daylight but are now settling very well in their new endless space at Wild Northumbrian and hopefully our guests will be able to enjoy their eggs and company around site, as part the experience.
The year in workshops at Wild Northumbrian has just grown with great excitement. The old Victorian Garden on site has been prepared for the array of bushcraft activites led by Rob Caton of Wild Harmony as well as beautiful wood craft workshops with Woodsmith Maurice Pile. Both of these practitoners are leaders in their field as is Graham Taylor of Potted History who is not only leading wonderful days of Roman and Prehistoric pottery making and firing using ancient techniques but is creating a Roman Kiln on site as a course in its own right.
We have art courses too using the world famous Unison colour Pastels created by my father John Hersey and an artist in residence to mark the opening of Wild Northumbrian and 25 years of Unison Colour.
Come along and learn these ancient crafts and skills with passionate and knowledgeable tutors and experience first hand the unique beauty of this wild part of Northumberland. Some of these workshops and courses are fully booked already so book early to avoid disappointment!
It’s been an amazing few months of self discovery and a huge learning curve for us but we really can’t wait to welcome our first guests and visitor to the workshops, courses and of course to our enchanting tipis and yurts.
Hope see you up here soon!
Feature sponsored by Wild Northumbrian, Tarset, Northumberland