Stone age skills on the Common

VISITORS got the chance to try out ancient skills practised when the population of East Devon still lived in caves and stone huts, at the Heath Week Festival at Woodbury Castle on Sunday.

The annual event drew together local conservation groups to show visitors Woodbury Commons’ history, geology, flora and fauna.

Children tried out willow basket weaving and making tools out of flint – called ‘flint knapping’ – and looked on as a blacksmith smelted iron and charcoal was produced from wood cut from the Commons.

A story teller was on hand to enthral the youngsters with the many myths and legends that surround the Commons’ murky past.

Natural England challenged children to make or draw some of the wildlife of the Commons, including making paper butterflies and drawing snakes.

The East Devon Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust demonstrated proposals for the future grazing program.

The RSPB and the Devon Wild Life Trust conducted guided walks and there were queues all day formed by people eager for a the chance to see the Commons by 4x4 vehicle – something the custodians of the area rarely allow.

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Commons’ warden Bungy Williams said: “The smell of a gorse fired pizza oven proved very enticing!”

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