All in a Day's Walk

A month-long slow food walking performance

Hearth is where the home is…

Knacker's Hole Grove Bonfire at the Falcon

A walk from Lea to Ross-on-Wye and back to Caplor via Deep Dean woods at Howle Hill, to interview woodsman Dan. I get lost on the way there and run through deep leaf litter along mediaeval holloways in a floundering panic to be on time to meet him. We sit on a flatbed trailer in the chestnut coppice for me to catch my breath a while as Dan talk about the wood and its history…

Audio Track Dan at Deep Dean – on coppicing & woodland management

before walking on through the plantation so he can show me how it is managed in practice.

Audio Track: Dan at Deep Dean – a walk in the wood

Audio Track: Dan at Deep Dean – on old logging methods

Audio Track: Dan at Deep Dean – on monoculture

Dan is quietly and humblingly articulate about the importance – and skill – of using wood to heat water and home, cultivating an understanding of natural processes and slower rhythms that connects us not only with the natural world but also with history: fire as a thread that burns through our evolution and culture.

Audio Track: Dan at Deep Dean – best wood for burning

Audio Track: Dan at Deep Dean – on local wood for local people

Audio Track: Dan at Deep Dean – on the ritual of fire

He is also very much a rural worker, aware of the pleasures and pressures of local living in a rural county, including the role of walking as a necessary mode of transport, and the historical role of work – in the woods, on the fields – as the original form of ‘exercise’ which, in an office-driven culture, we have lost and now seek out elsewhere (including through recreational walking!):

Audio Track: Dan at Deep Dean – on walking

I walk back through market town Ross-on-Wye, which feels like a metropolis after the last few weeks. It’s two days ’til the end of the project, so in readiness I buy medjool dates (California – ouch) and porridge oats (Shropshire) from organic wholefood shop Field Fayre. I am amazed by my restraint that I don’t eat them on the way home (or, writing this retrospectively, until the end of the project).

The sun is setting as I follow the Wye back. And, as I pass the Falcon a couple of miles from Caplor, there’s a wood fire burning outside; dancing fire demons to welcome me home and then, in the glow of my headtorch, the white face of a Herefordshire bull.

Hen at Cobrey Phantom train sign, Ross-on-Wye Orographic (?) clouds on the Black Mountains from the A449 Brampton Abbotts Another flood Oak near Hole-in-the-Wall Sunset above Hole-in-the-Wall Wye below Lyndor Wood River Wye below Lyndor Wood 2 Windmill at Ingestone Sunset over River Wye at Ingestone Sunset over River Wye at Ingestone 2 Pilgrims Way, How Caple Oilseed rape (?) at How Caple Sunset at How Caple  Bull looms out of the dark at Capler Camp

No comments yet»

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: