The Young Snake and other creations

The felling and canopy lifting work at the woods by the Rollright Stones continues and it generates vast amounts of logs and brash, so it’s been decided that building larger mounds and structures is the way to go. As ever, Karl has been creative in his use of materials and the structures he makes are becoming larger and bolder in design. It’s fascinating to see this previously unknown aspect of his personality emerging.

whispering-knights-freezing-fogThe Whispering Knights in freezing fog

The structure that gained the name The Young Snake came about as a result of three untidy heaps of brash that had been piled together by unknown persons. Rather than pull them apart and start again, we decided to do as we had done previously and build around them to cover them over and make something much bigger.

three-heapsUntidy heaps

Initially, the idea was to join them together and make a ‘U’ shape as had been done with an earlier mound, but then Karl thought it would be interesting to extend the line and make a spiral.


He started out by filling in the gaps with masses of ash saplings and larch logs and then put down more logs to make the basic shape.


These were overlaid with pruned hardwood branches and then covered over with pine branches which were woven in with smaller lengths in order to hold it all together. As you can see, the result is very pleasing.

young-snakeThe Young Snake

For the next structure, Karl made a huge open-weave bender-like shelter. Fresh pine, whilst sticky with sap, is good to use for this sort of work because the branchlets are so flexible that they can be twisted around each other and hold together quite firmly.



man at work


in the dome

Meanwhile, I worked on encasing a larch tree that had been cut into three lengths and making it into my favoured ‘larval cocoon’ form.



Later on, Claire mentioned that Stephen’s two-year-old granddaughter would be visiting in a few weeks and it would be lovely if she had some playful structures made just for her. Something toddler-size, like an igloo or teepee, that only she could get inside. I’d never made anything like that before so tried my hand at a tiny teepee. The doorway faces away from the main path so that it will hopefully be a nice surprise when she discovers it and she can sit inside and look into the woods. We’ll make a few others in different styles and I’ll put up pictures as they are completed.

wigwamWorking on the tiny teepee