This year the interest in the use of Lime has grown notably and I am so glad for not only has it given me some useful business it has stirred up a higher level of appreciation of this quite remarkable tree. At The Bushcraft Show I supplied Springfields Army Stores with 200 pieces of lime to accompany any knife sales. A knock on effect of this is that I have just sent off 500 pieces over to Mora Distribution.
The real magic of Lime, however, comes in the fact that its bark layers can be turned into rope, baskets and containers. With the sap so high the bark comes away quite easily, if you know what you are doing, and can be turned into large or small cylinders sometimes complete without a seam. Its a great pleasure making them as well as guiding people through the process on either my Mentoring scheme, Lime Bark weekend or private courses as I did 2 weeks ago with the Oxfordshire Basketmakers Group. The photo was taken during the Lime Bark day I ran at Hams Hall near Tamworth hosted by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. Peeling the bark off carefully with the support of others along with an original bark peeling spoon used by the last Forester who supplied the Cornish Tanneries with oak bark. Hearing the bark come away knowing we had the right pressure and leverage is very satisfying indeed.
One of the other interesting issues surrounding this process is how it can be viewed by others. On one hand it might appear to be quite damaging as we are cutting down and stripping a tree of its bark however it is part of the ecology and wellbeing of the woods. One of the students on this particular day was an ecologist and she clarified the importance of the coppice cycle and explained how useful and sometimes vital it can be for the variety of butterflies and moths as well as voles which of course in turn have an impact on other species along the food chain. That is it regarding Lime Bark events until next year so if this has taken your interest take a look at the web page and keep your eyes out for next years course or courses which will be on the first weekends in June 2018.