The end of October was drawing ever closer, the days were getting shorter, but it just seemed right to plan a little adventure. My friend, Andy and I hatched a plan to paddle the River Stour in Suffolk, early the following month. The navigable section is between Sudbury and Cattawade, the last stop before the tidal estuary, a short journey of just 24 miles, broken up by quite a few portage points. Not being in any rush, a gentle paddle over two days downstream, going with the flow and a wild camp somewhere by the river was our plan.Continue reading “Going with the flow on the River Stour”
What is a rocket stove? It’s a hollowed out log with a fire inside, that has a hole in the side to direct the breeze which fans the fire, and hence it burns like a rocket!
There are a few ways to make a rocket stove, you can cut a log and drill holes into it, make one from a bundle of sticks, and this version where we split a log and do some sawing and chopping.
It’s a lot like the Swedish Fire Log, a log split or cut, then set on fire in the gaps between the segments of the log. However, this version, the rocket stove, will burn hotter, because of the airflow directed into the heart of the fire through the hole at the bottom of the log!
A connection like no other, we are so often missing that special thing in life that makes us human; the simple appreciation of our environment and sense of wonderment in what it provides, the air that we breathe, warmth in our hearts and nourishment from the land and sea. In a busy rushing about day that so many experience, it’s no wonder we are at times feeling a little lost, lacking in purpose and just consumed by modern day life. That hustle and bustle, the always-on, connected culture, our phones with their messages, social media likes, commuting to towns and cities, rushing from one thing to the next, working hard for the chance of salvation, and then onwards to repeat that often crazy loop of repetitive behaviour that consumes our lives.
Many thanks to Visit the Chilterns for joining me in the woods, it’s wonderful to be able to share my love of the woodlands, teaching Bushcraft and enjoying nature at her finest here in the Chilterns.
The Chilterns is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), with rolling hills, chalk streams and of course, beautiful woodlands, and so much more. David was invited to take part in their “meet the makers” project, all part of their grand plan to attract you to the Chilterns!
For those of you who have yet to visit, The Chilterns is to the North West of London, just a short train ride or car journey, and you are in lovely countryside, with historic places to visit and wonderful things to do!
It’s lovely to walk down the hedgerows of a Chilterns woodland in the Spring. There is such an abundance of greenery, new growth springing up, and the colours and scent of beautiful flowers. And one of my favourite scents is that of the elder – it’s florets of white flowers, make them so distinctive.
It’s time, right now to go and forage a few, to make cordials or sparkling elderflower champagnes. But, one thing I love to make is elderflower fritters.