Thursday, 28 August 2014

City Teenagers meet the Cornish Coast

Using shave horses and draw knives to finish hand made mallets
 We were joined yesterday for a fun morning's bushcraft session at Poltesco by 16 16-19 year olds. The teenagers are all from Tower Hamlets in London, and know each other from college and their Youth Group.
We've had an ongoing connection with the Youth Group, thanks to links made by the Lizard Outreach Trust who have facilitated several City and Sea exchanges in the past. Mamun, now leader of the group, came on one of these visits some years ago, so he wanted to give teenagers, many of whom rarely leave the city, the same chance to visit the Lizard he had when younger.
Mallets were fashoned from single logs, using saws and axes
 The group stayed at our National Trust bunkhouse at Penrose, and as well as their session with us, they spent their time in Cornwall walking the coastpath, visiting the beach, canoeing and fishing.

Our session yesterday was timed brilliantly ahead of the rain! The group had a go at fashioning a mallet from a log, learning how to safely use a bow saw and carving axe. The final smoothing of the mallet handle was achieved using shave horses and draw knives.
Mastering the use of fire strikers to create a spark

After a quick break to visit the beach (and to take on the build the highest pebble/boulder tower challenge), we switched to fire lighting, using magnesium strikers to create a spark, which was caught in a piece of char cloth, or a vaseline covered cotton ball.  Once mastered, making fire with a traditional flint and steel was the next challenge. Not so easy, as although it's possible to get a spark, guessing where it will land is impossible!

The session rounded up with a cuppa brewed over the fire, and a few toasted marshmallows.

If you are linked to a group who might want to set up a similar session with us, please do get in touch.


Thanks to NT Volunteer Shannon O'Grady for the Photographs.

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