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Organisers stunned as 5,000 attend Cambridgeshire’s Wonder of Wood fair





As with the organisers of a number of events around the country last weekend, the brains behind of The Wonder of Wood debated whether this year’s two-day event should go ahead following the Queen’s death.

Simon Damant repurposing a garden fol using a farrier portable forge at The Wonder of Wood. Picture: Keith Heppell
Simon Damant repurposing a garden fol using a farrier portable forge at The Wonder of Wood. Picture: Keith Heppell

The annual wood fair, held at Burwash Manor, showcases some of the region’s finest wood workers, crafters and artisans. Duncan Dodds of Artisan Structures, who has organised the event with Tim Radford of Foxcotte and WonderWood since it was first held in 2019, believes they made the right decision to stage it last Saturday and Sunday (September 10-11).

Kate Dodds with her children at The Wonder of Wood. Picture: Keith Heppell
Kate Dodds with her children at The Wonder of Wood. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bic Baker working traditionally to make a chair leg at The Wonder of Wood. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bic Baker working traditionally to make a chair leg at The Wonder of Wood. Picture: Keith Heppell

He said: “We were obviously dubious with the Queen’s passing. But we are all about encouraging children to get out and engage with nature and get practical skills, and getting them away from screen time.

“People would have accepted it, but everybody seemed so glad that we hadn’t put it off, because it’s another year that they’d have to wait until the next one. The amount of people that came through the gates just blew our minds – it was a real success.”

The Wonder of Wood was cancelled in 2020 but took place last year. “It wasn’t the same,” said Duncan of last year’s pandemic-affected event. “We had a similar sort of questioning but for such different reasons.”

[Read more: Cambridgeshire’s first wood fair to take place]

Bob Leaver at The Wonder of Wood event. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bob Leaver at The Wonder of Wood event. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Wonder of Wood at Burwash Manor. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Wonder of Wood at Burwash Manor. Picture: Keith Heppell

About 5,000 people attended over the weekend. New attractions this year included juggling, plate-spinning, and diabolo classes for children. “That went down really well,” said Duncan, adding that the Wildlife Trust played more of a role in this year’s proceedings, with the inclusion of an “incredible” pond-dipping area.

“We also had Charlie playing guitar in his bin, which he sometimes does around Cambridge city centre. He’s famous for it. As well as our music stage, Charlie also decided to dot his bin around the show in various places, which was fun.”

Brian Mansfield from the Tools and Trades History Society at The Wonder of Wood. Picture: Keith Heppell
Brian Mansfield from the Tools and Trades History Society at The Wonder of Wood. Picture: Keith Heppell

For more information on The Wonder of Wood, visit thewonderofwoodfair.com.



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