Events and Projects

At Sladebank Woods we’re passionate about creating opportunities so that everyone can spend time in nature and learn new skills, but because of the current guidance about social distancing no events or projects are being held at the moment. We invite you to spend time reading about the activities that are on hold, and very much look forward to welcoming you later in the year.

Projects

Seeing the Woods

We are forming online pathways to help people connect with nature using technology and this includes those who cannot explore physically. Trail cameras are being regularly sited here to capture seasonal images that we humans don’t usually see. We’re sharing the best images with you here and on our Facebook page.

The footage captured by the cameras of the woods’ animal inhabitants has inspired local creator Naomi Wilkinson who has been finding story and meaning through the process of curating these glimpses of wild life into the videos below. If you fancy trying this for yourself we have lots of free footage for you to use, and can offer guidance to get you started. Get in touch to find out more.

Woodland Lab: mushroom growing

We’ve joined forces with Dom Thomas from Stroud’s Fungusloci project to use tree stumps to grow mushrooms. We need to cut invasive or diseased trees to a stump as part of our woodland management, and Dom has been injecting them with fungus spores to encourage mushrooms to emerge. So far we’ve had success with oyster and shiitake mushrooms, and are looking forward to namako, chicken of the woods, lion’s mane and enoki. Find out more about our fungus department here!

Shiitake mushrooms grown on oak log from the woods
Shiitake mushrooms grown on oak log from the woods

Future trees

We’re proud to have a black fir (Corsican pine) in the woods which is at least 200 years old – we know this because it’s shown as a mature tree on a map of the land dating back to 1880. By saving seeds from the pine’s cones we’re hoping to grow a new tree.

Black fir seeds being propagated

Local crafts

Dave Cockcroft is a green wood craftsman who designs and makes beautiful furniture and household items from fresh cut local hardwoods, including wood from Sladebank Woods. Furniture is made from ash, oak and elm while spoons are carved from fruitwood and sycamore. To find more more about Dave visit his website davecockcroft.com

Digital mapping

By digitally mapping the woodland we are well on course to inform the future management of the woodland and to survey trees as ash dieback progresses.

Disabled access

Improvements will be coming to the Education Zone including a pole structure shelter and an accessible compost toilet. We are also looking to improve access to the site by upgrading the footpaths for disabled participants.

Future events

Boy woodworking

Woodland Wonder – September and October

We’re delighted that these creative sessions for disabled and non-disabled children will be returning to Sladebank Woods in the autumn. Children aged 5-11 and 11-14 will have the chance to enjoy creative play and activities that are artistic, constructive and inclusive.

Earth Songs

Join us to sing, play an instrument or just enjoy listening at our monthly Earth Songs gathering. These evening events generally take place on the second Friday of each month at our roundhouse and are led by JJ Middleway from Enchanting the Void. Children and adults welcome! We meet 15 minutes before the advertised starting time.

You can bring a percussion instrument if you have one or a song that you’d love to hear. A cushion to sit on is advised, and remember to dress for warmth in the colder months. Please bring a torch if you’re arriving or leaving in the dark. There’s an opportunity to bring and share snacks at the end. These events are free, but donations are warmly invited. For dates and details about the next Earth Songs sessions, please sign up for our newsletter.

JJ Middleway
"The intention is to let these ‘songs of the heart’ radiate out into the community and beyond, as an antidote to some of the ‘actions without heart’ whose influence is being felt by many. May song and dance and the creative arts continue to shine and lift us, with kindness and gratitude at the centre, along with playfulness and respect"
JJ

Ongoing groups

We host a number of ongoing groups. Currently, they are all at full capacity, but please contact us if you would like information or to be added to the waiting list.

Wood Group – this monthly group helps to manage the woodland in return for firewood to use at home. Their help with coppicing trees, removing ivy where necessary and other work is vital to help the woodland thrive.

Men’s Group – meets once a month as a space where men can talk about issues affecting them.

The Moon Daughters Circles – a community initiative set up by Damaris Bowker and Kesty Jakes in 2010 to support mothers and girls approaching puberty. At the age of 11-12 the Moon Daughters are invited to form their own closed circles. The circles are now organised and run by a group of local mums – to find out more, contact Kate Dineen on 07866 642549 / kate@katedineen.com or Chia Crane 07747 313994.

The Wolf Sisters and Storm Sisters meet here from time to time. To contact these groups get in touch with us.

A mandala created from natural materials
Creating mandalas from natural materials is a popular group activity

Build your own event

If you’d like to run your own regular or one-off event at Sladebank Woods, we offer a number of indoor and outdoor locations. Contact us for a chat about what you have in mind.