The Tale of the Tree Guardians
Clay creations that harness the fruits of our autumn hedgerows.
Before the half term break, RD's first group of intrepid Forest Schoolers got their hands on a range of natural materials to sculpt a collection of Tree Guardians to protect our veteran oaks.
On our way to the trees, Mr Clements' story started a bit like this:
One chilly autumn morning, in a land beyond the distant mountains of the East, a woodcutter slung his rucksack over his shoulder, picked up his sharpened axe and headed out of his wooden cottage for the last time.
There were no more trees in the woods and forests where he lived, not for miles around, for they had all been cut down for buildings and boats, firewood and fences, cribs and cupboards. So off he set, one weary boot in front of the other, trudging through fields and alongside streams, day and night, night and day, until his beard grew long enough for sparrows to nest in.
Eventually he reached a land where the forests still lived and breathed, with thick trunks standing tall and proud branches reaching up and out and across. Exhausted from his weeks of travel, he lay down at the roots of a mighty oak, his head on his rucksack and a woollen blanket around his shoulders. "Tomorrow," he thought to himself as he drifted off to sleep, "I will cut down enough wood to build strong homes for my people to live in, and fences to keep our sheep from straying, fires..... to grow....warm.....by.....snnnnnnnnoorrrrrrrrr."
But as he slept, he heard voices in his dreams, sad sounds that came from the mouths on the faces that seemed to grow from tree trunks all around, faces that twisted and turned so that, wherever he looked, frightened eyes stared straight at him.
"Do not cut us with your axe!" one yelled. "If you do, you will regret it for the rest of your days."
Then several called out together: "Leave this place, woodcutter, before it's too late!"
Well, that's how the story began. But how will it finish? What do you think should happen next?
For more photographs of the first term's Forest School activities, check the newsletter page.