With the temperature hovering around zero and strong winds, the conservation volunteers assembled at Cherryburn, the birthplace of Thomas Bewick (1753 - 1828) - artist, wood engraver and naturalist. The forecast snow was already settling on the fields on the other side of the Tyne.
We were at Cherryburn - one of the four properties in the Gibside group - to create an adventure play area for children in the wildlife garden, a construction job for a change, with or without the approval of the wildlife.
|Tasks being alllocated|
The various tasks were allocated to small groups of volunteers: setting out a "stepping-stone" path of tree trunk discs; digging in larger pieces of tree trunk to form seats; creating bamboo chimes suspended from a wooden A-Frame; and, most imaginatively, planting posts into the ground with side pieces attached to mimic stilts used in Thomas Bewick's time to cross the River Tyne.
|The "Stepping Stones" being dug in|
|Playing a tune on the bamboo chimes|
|Creating the stilts|
|Terry and Mary hard at work clearing the cobble stones of mud.|
The job is due to be completed on Thursday, when the weather is forecast to be much better. Families are sure to like the play area, but what would Thomas Bewick have thought?