Dum-dee-dum-dee-dum-dee-dum . . . "Er, hello Ruth, that sheep's looking a bit off colour if you ask me." "Oooooh noooo, Bert" . . .
NO NO NO !!!! Not those Archers, I'm talking about this sort of archer . . .
or to be precise, THESE archers . . .
The huge Yew tree just outside my studio door has been admired by many visitors, not least those whose hobby is archery. One visitor to my studio last July was convinced the tree must have been especially coppiced to grow bow wood – I'm not sure whether this can be true, but there's no doubt it's got some long straight branches and that's just what a bow maker needs. So when we obtained planning permission to have some branches trimmed from various trees in the garden some long-bow enthusiasts were able to have one of the long, dead-straight branches for bow making.
This Yew tree is like a cage of giant poles surrounding its ancient stump. The experience of climbing up within the tree will probably give the tree surgeon nightmares of being trapped in a wooden cage and being swallowed by the Druid's tree – hope he doesn't have cheese for supper.
The branch was carefully extracted in 3.5 metre sections between large knots. Now the wood needs to season for three years before work can start on the bows – a long term project, you can't just knock up a bow in five minutes! I've requested an archery lesson using a long-bow made from our Yew wood – in 2012!