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8 Ways to Keep Your Wooden Furniture Looking Great

Posted on May 04, 2017

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5 Ways to Enhance your Pergola

Posted on May 03, 2017

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The Impact of Wooden Planters

Posted on April 27, 2017

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What To Do in Your Garden in May

Posted on April 24, 2017

Even if the sun isn۪t quite shining yet, you can still make your garden bright and beautiful this May.

April showers have given your yard a boost, so it۪s time to start getting ready for the summer months. Whether you grow your own veggies, want to create a vibrant floral paradise or be kind to local wildlife, we۪ve got some jobs for you to do in your garden this month.

In the vegetable patch

Sow and plant

In May, you can continue to plant and sow vegetables, especially those that you have been cultivating in the greenhouse. This works especially well for tomatoes.

You may also find that the first fresh salads of the season are ready to pick. Lettuce leaves, rocket and pea shoots should be ready for harvest during this month.

Repot

Meanwhile, if you grow your veggies in pots, May is a great month to move them to larger containers. Repotting plants gives them more room to grow and thrive, meaning more healthy homegrown treats for your whole family.

The same goes for any flowers that have outgrown their planter.

Beware the late frosts

Whilst we۪re all ready for warmer weather, it isn۪t unheard of for a frost to strike in May. Keep an eye on your produce and cover itwith protective cloth where possible.

In the flower beds

Tend to your buds

Again, any summer flowering bulbs or perennials can now be sewn. In the meantime, be sure to prune any shrubs or bushes that have flowered early, as this will allow them to blossom come summertime.

Additionally, May is a great time to set up proper support for your perennials. Heavy flowers will make the plants droop and leave unsightly gaps in a border planting. Avoid this by using bamboo stick or sturdy twig to reinforce the plants' structures.

Tidy up the lawn

A stunning garden is often let down by an overgrown lawn. Take advantage of the dryer days and give it a trim when possible.

Neatening your grass may be all it takes to transform your garden into a serene vista ready for summer.

In the nature garden

Make a home for the migrants

Migrating birds have already started to arrive in the UK, so make sure you put out nesting boxes to welcome them. Be sure not to disturb those already making a home in your bushes and hedges.

You can also help our feathered friends by ensuring all bird feeders and the bird bath areregularly topped up.

Provide shelter

This month is a prime time for mating and coming out of hibernation. You can assist with this by leaving your garden to do its thing and grow to create safe spaces for small animals.

Perhaps also build a log pile from excess twigs, wood and rocks.

Attract nature

Lastly, you can entice some pretty incredible nature to your garden by planting the correct wildflowers. We actually recently published a guide on how to attract butterflies into your garden.

Do you have any tips for gardening in May? Share them with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tips for Growing Beautiful Roses

Posted on April 17, 2017

Adored around the world, roses are a stunning addition to any garden. However, they can be notoriously hard to grow because of their sensitivity to weather and disease. Today, we۪ve got 7 essential steps for growing show-stopping roses.

Lots of sunlight

Roses love the sun. Be sure to plant them in an area in your garden where they will receive at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight. This will ensure that they grow to their full potential and look gorgeous.

Plenty of room

Enough space is also vital when growing roses. These plants need a good amount of air circulation. Each bush needs a three-foot diameter for it to flourish. You might want them to climb the wall or trellis, so keep this in mind when you۪re choosing the position of your rose patch.

Getting the soil right

Roses require rich, well-drained soil, so be sure to have compost on hand to mix in. This is especially important if you have a lot of clay or sand in your garden. Meanwhile, the optimum pH for roses is 6.5. You can easily adjust these levels with a special product or by doing it yourself. For example, for more acidic soil, add organic mulch that consists of citrus and vegetable peels or coffee grounds. These will all lower your pH. Alternatively, if you have to make your soil more alkaline, use lime, hardwood ashes or even crushed eggshells. This will take a few months to raise your pH level, but it will be worth it when your roses begin to bloom.

Watering your plant

Be sure to water your roses regularly, especially in the first few weeks after planting. Roses require a lot of water, so if the weather has been particularly dry, you may have to commit to watering them daily. You must be generous with the amount of water you give them. Make sure you wet the entire roots, as well as the top two inches of soil. Just be careful not to wet the leaves as this can cause disease.

Feeding your roses

On top of this, roses also need to be fed regularly. Make sure you feed them in the spring, after they have been pruned, whilst they are in bud and during midsummer. The last feed should be carried out at least six weeks before the first expected frost. You can buy a range of organic fertilisers for your roses, or make your own. Natural Living Ideas have a selection of organic fertiliser recipes for all sorts of plants, including roses.

The right time to prune

Pruning is important as it naturally improves the health of your roses, as well as keeping them looking great. When they۪re out of bloom, cut off any dead or diseased branches and remove any leaves that remain on the plant. You can also take this opportunity to shape the plant to fit in with your garden.

Protecting your roses

Extreme weather and pests can damage a rose plant, so it۪s important to protect your bush. Once the frost arrives, add a layer of insulation around the roots to prevent winter damage. And to keep aphids and caterpillars at bay, use a shop-bought pesticide or homemade soap-oil spray. This can be made by mixing a teaspoon of vegetable oil with a cup of water and liquid soap.

Mulching is essential

Mulch is possibly one of the key ingredients to beautiful roses. Adding it to the base of each shrub prevents moisture from escaping and keeps the plant hydrated. You can make your own mulch from grass cuttings, wood chips and leaves. Do you have any more tips for growing the perfect rosebush? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

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5 Ways to Enhance your Pergola

Posted on April 10, 2017

Garden pergolas have been a popular feature since Roman times, and through the centuries there have been many different ways of decorating them. During the medieval era, gardeners would grow vine and ivy covers to make a shady pathway or seating area. Later, the 18th and 19th centuries saw the rise of stone pillars and beams. Nowadays, pergolas are usually made from wood, aluminium, vinyl or even fibreglass. With summer just around the corner and the lighter nights already upon us, we۪re sharing some tips on how to embellish your pergola.

Fairy lights

Everyone loves the effect that string lights have on a warm summer۪s evening, so try lighting up your garden by adding a soft glow to your pergola. There are so many on the market, from battery operated to solar powered, so you may never need to be left in the dark again. We personally love the look of twisting them around the roof and sides of the structure to adda warmfeel to any party or gathering. Meanwhile, citronella candles and tealights are great for keeping the mood going, as well as the mosquitoes away.

Curtains and voiles

Create a regal vibe in your backyard by adding curtains to your pergola. These are ideal if you want to get some shade or keep the insects at bay. In the same way that a pair of drapes can transform a room, they can also make a huge impact on the look of your outdoor space. Once they۪re up, you۪ll feel like you۪re on holiday. Just be sure to keep them clean and perhaps take them down during the winter months.

Plants

Of course, growing ivy and leafy vines around your pergola is a natural and traditional way of creating a shady, protected space. If you want to add a bit of greenery but don۪t have the patience for training vines, grab a few plants in pots to decorate the area. This will add an extra dimension to any garden.

Bunting and garlands

Got something to celebrate? Opt for some colourful bunting or garlands to hang up around your pergola. There are plenty of varieties in local craft and gift shops, or you could get creative and design your own out of patterned paper or old garments. You could alsoget the kids involved to make some looped paper garlands for that family BBQ.

Comfort

Set up a seating area underneath your pergola for relaxing in comfort - perfect for keeping the party going for longer. Add cushions and blankets so that your guests will stay warm on chilly nights. You could even invest in an electric heater to make the most of the summer evenings.

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Are you revamping your pergola for summer? We۪d love to see the results. Tag us in your photos on Facebook and Twitter. Need inspiration?Head to our wooden pergola range.

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Simple and Quick Ways to Get Into Gardening

Posted on April 03, 2017

April is National Gardening Month, so it۪s the perfect time to get your fingers green. Think you don۪t have enough time or the right sort of garden? Here we give you some tips on how to transform any space with minimum effort. Whether you have a small yard or a luscious green space annexing your house, spending time gardening can be hugely beneficial. And the best part is that it can be really easy to maintain. Firstly, decide what you want from your garden. Choose whether you want to grow delicious vegetables, beautiful blossoms or create a haven for local wildlife. You must consider what sort of space you have, but almost anything is possible with a few plant pots and a bit of dedication.

I don۪t have enough space to garden.۝

Of course, you may not be able to grow your own fully-fledged vegetable patch if you only have access to a concrete yard. However, it۪s not completely impossible to harvest vegetables with a few plant pots. Some vegetables don۪t need a lot of room to grow. For example, salad greens, lettuce, chives and radishes only need 4-5 inches to thrive, whilst popular foods like carrots, cucumbers, leeks, peppers and spinach only need 8-9 inches. Meanwhile, kitchen staples such as onions, garlic and peas require an average of 8-9 inches too. In a similar way, you can grow a colourful array of flowers from space-saving hanging baskets. Try some petunias or trailing geranium. Alternatively, if your backyard is a suntrap, try brightening the place up further with some simple sunflowers in pots. And don۪t be fooled into thinking that a tiny urban garden can۪t attract wildlife. There are so many creatures that would be very thankful if you invested in a bird table or bath. You can also create safe spaces for hedgehogs and hibernators in the winter with just a few logs.

I don۪t have enough time to garden.۝

Gardening doesn۪t have to be a huge chore. In fact, there are so many plants that are low maintenance and don۪t take much effort to grow. All you need to do is prep the soil and keep them well watered. Plants such as shrubs, conifers and grasses are super easy to maintain and don۪t take much of your time to keep on top of. Meanwhile, add some vibrancy with snowdrops, lily turf, elephant ears and hardy cyclamen. If you want to grow something for the kitchen, try making a small herb garden on a windowsill you won۪t even necessarily need to venture outside. In the meantime, a nature garden is possibly one of the most low-maintenance ways to garden. Wildlife thrives in overgrown grass and plants, meaning that you will save time on pruning.

Other tips for keeping your garden neat

Trellis-type fencing is an easy and time-efficient way to keep things looking neat and tidy. It also suits all sorts of patches. Meanwhile, hazel hurdles are really easy to keep as you don۪t even have to worry about treating them. If you are delving into the world of gardening for the first time, tag us in your photos on Facebook and Twitter.

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Take a Stroll Around Goddards House and Garden

Posted on April 02, 2017

Goddards House and Garden is located just a short walk from York city centre. It was home to Noel Terry, the chocolatier, his wife Kathleen and his four children, Peter, Kenneth, Betty and Richard.

A National Trust site, it۪s the perfect place to spend a day with your family. Explore the history of the influential Terrys, who played a vital role in York۪s chocolate heritage.

Arts and Crafts style

The house was built in the distinctive Arts and Crafts style. This was a movement that originated in Britain and swept across Europe and North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

It rebelled against anything new age or mass produced, promoting traditional craftsmanship instead. Goddards House is a fine example of this technique, and elements of the iconic stylecan be found in even the smallest detail, like the plant pots in the greenhouse. Key names of the movement include William Morris and Charles Rennie Macintosh.

Gorgeous gardens

The four-acre gardens were designed by the architect and gardener George Dillistone, another cornerstone of the Arts and Crafts movement.

The stunning green space complements the house, with formal displays, intricate water features and a striking original glasshouse, which is still very much in use. Goddards also benefited from a bowling green and tennis lawn that was regularly used by the Terry children.

Meanwhile, the kitchen garden was once relied upon by the Terrys for staple foods such as peas, cabbages and potatoes. Nowadays, visitors can experience a scenic walk around the recently planted orchard.

History of the Terry family

You may be wondering who the Terry family were. Noel Terry was a chocolatier and you'll surely know his most famous creation, Terry۪s Chocolate Orange. His company createdthis and All Gold in the 1920s and 1930s.

When you visit the house, you will be able to get a deeper understanding of life at Goddards, as well as the impressive 250 years of the Terry business.

The family home has a comfortable, welcoming feel. Visit the drawing room and sip sherry by the fireplace, or explore what being a child was really like in the 1930s. Meanwhile, design geeks can marvel at the William Morris-style wallpaper, as well as create theirown sketches in theArts and Crafts style.

Tasty treats

Indulgeina decadent 1930s luncheon with your friends in the exquisite former dining room of the Terry household. The cafe overlooks the luscious gardens, serving a regularly changing homemade menu of light bites, plus a refreshing selection of soft and alcoholic beverages.

Be sure to sample the mouth-watering chocolate orange cake - it۪s a favourite among guests.

If you do head to Goddards House and Garden or have another National Trust site to recommend, let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

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How to Create Your Own Butterfly Garden

Posted on March 27, 2017

Spring has officially arrived! You may have already noticed some interesting insects buzzing in your backyard on the warmer days of March. Butterflies, in particular, will soon be a delightful sight in gardens across the UK. Encouraging them not only means that your backyard will look beautiful, but the critters are also hugely beneficial for a thriving ecosystem. Now is a great time to start prepping your patch so that it۪s a haven for butterflies come summertime. There are a whopping 59 species of butterfly in the country, plus an additional 30 that migrate to Britain from elsewhere in Europe. You۪ll be most familiar with the stunning Red Admiral, Peacock butterfly, Painted Lady and Cabbage Whites. Less common are the gorgeous Orange-tip, Meadow Brown and Small Copper. The best news is that it۪s easy to attract these flutterbugs to your garden. We۪ve got five tips for creating your own butterfly sanctuary.

DO choose specific flowers

The Royal Horticultural Society has a handy and extensive list of plants that are perfect for pollinators, such as bees, butterflies and beetles. These plants can be grown from March when the frosty weather ends and the warmer days return. Plants such as foxglove, thyme, honeysuckle and lavender will really attract adult butterflies to your garden.

DO think about the children

However, whilst the aforementioned plants are great for fully-grown critters, many are unsuitable for feeding larvae. Therefore, make sure you have a good selection of larval food plants in your garden. These are mainly wildflowers, such as buckthorn, currants, holly and ivy, lady۪s smock and thistles. Lady۪s smock is a key plant for the Orange-tip butterfly; the adult females are attracted to the soft scent and lay their eggs on the flower heads. In the meantime, buckthorn will entice Brimstone butterflies. The female can smell the plant from up to five miles away. Holly and ivy act as food plants for the Holly Blue, whilst currants are great for increasing your Comma butterfly count.

DO build a habitat

Butterflies love uncut grass and especially mixed grass seeds. Leave your grass to grow a bit longer than usual, so that the creatures have a place to live and thrive. This step is vital if you want to draw in varieties such as Meadow Browns. Their caterpillars will feed on the grass and it۪s a really simple way of seeing more of the flying visitors.

DON۪T touch that fallen fruit

If you have a fruit tree in your garden, leave the fallen fruit for butterflies to feed on. The Red Admiral and the Painted Lady will love drinking the sweet juices of your apples and pears.

DON۪T use pesticides

Try to avoid the use of harsh chemicals and pesticides on your plants and flowers. This will only drive the critters away from feeding on the pollen.

DO sit back and relax

Once you۪ve carried out the above steps, be sure to take a seat and admire the pretty critters as they flutter their way around thegreen space. If you see an increase in butterflies visiting your garden, try to snap a photo of them, and please DO tag us in your stunning pics on Facebook and Twitter.

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What To Do in Your Garden in April

Posted on March 20, 2017

April is when everything really starts to happen in your garden. It۪s time to sow those seeds and prepare for the sunshine. In the process, we still have to be mindful of the wildlife that might only just be emerging from hibernation.

In the vegetable patch...

It۪s sow time!

The warmer weather in April means that it۪s finally time to sow. This includes vegetables such as carrots, peas, beetroot, broccoli, salad crops and winter cabbages. You can also sow herbaceous plants such as dill, fennel, parsley and thyme. Meanwhile, tomatoes, squashes, pumpkins and courgettes can be sown in a heated greenhouse.

Attend to previous sowings

If you sowed any seeds in March, you may need to have a peep and see how they are doing. Carefully thin out any seedlings as soon as they're large enough to handle. Also look after your potatoes by pulling some fleece over their foliage. This is especially important if a frost hits, which is common during this time of year.

Keep an eye out for pests

With the changing seasons, be on the lookout for vegetable-loving pests like slugs. Put down some pellets if necessary, and invest in some copper tape. Slugs hate copper because it reacts with their mucus.

In the flower beds...

Prepare for the sunshine

April is your last chance to order any young flower plants that you۪ll want for your garden next month. It is also time to sow half-hardy seeds in trays that can be kept on a sheltered windowsill or in the greenhouse. On top of this, hanging baskets can be planted and also kept warm in your glasshouse.

Green with envy

To ensure your lawn is looking lush for summer, sow lawn seeds in April. Gently rake the surface so that the ground is opened up and ready for seeding. Then sprinkle the seeds across the surface of the lawn. Repeat with the rake to allow the seeds to mix in with the soil. To ensure that the seeds are sown, use a half-filled water roller or your lawnmower roller and roll your lawn in two directions.

In the nature garden...

Go wild

April is a time for sewing and wildflowers are no exception. Make sure your soil is workable and directly sow wildflower seeds into your garden. These will attract all sorts of wildlife, including birds, insects and small mammals.

Watch out whilst preening

Whilst the weather is dry, you may want to tidy up your lawn with a lawnmower or strimmer. Be sure to first disturb the patch of land you۪re going to be working on, this way you۪ll avoid hurting hedgehogs, frogs and any other wildlife that might be in the area.

Up your pond game

If you have a pond, now's the perfect time to plant new foliage. This will mean that local creatures have a useful habitat to shelter in throughout summer. What are you planning to do in your garden in April? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

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8 Ways to Keep Your Wooden Furniture Looking Great

Posted on March 13, 2017

You've just bought a beautiful Woodcraft UK set to sit proudly in your back garden. You now want to make sure that it looks its absolute best for years to come. We've got some excellent tips to keep your benches, tables, chairs, pergolas and gazebos looking great.
  1. Keep it clean

At the beginning of the spring season, be sure to clean down your hardwood outdoor furniture. This is as simple as making up a hot, soapy solution and wiping down the tables and chairs. Not only does this give a fresh new look to the wood, it gets rid of any trapped dust.
  1. Let it be

If you۪re a fan of natural tones, let your wooden furniture age on its own. Woodcraft۪s timber is highly durable and can be left outdoors without any chemical treatment. The wood will weather and turn a silver-grey colour, which can be very attractive.
  1. Teak oil

On request, we can apply 2 coats of quality teak oil to your furniture. This will give it an appealing finish, whilst still looking quite natural. Just bear in mind that you will have to top up these coats every once in a while, depending on the weather conditions for that year.
  1. Get creative

If you want to inject a bit of colour into your backyard, why not invest in some wood paint for your furniture? To achieve a stunning solid colour, apply 2-3 coats of quality product. This should last around three years if you regularly wipe down and clean your furniture. The paint will not only act as a protective layer but also add a bit of character to your space.
  1. Stain it

Love that just-bought furniture glow? Keep yours looking brand new by using a stained oil. Again, the oil will act as a preservative, shielding the wood from harsh weather and everyday damage.
  1. Keep it shady

Whilst it might be tempting to sit outside on a hot summer's day and absorb the rays of the sun, this is about as good for your bench as it is for your skin. High temperatures will fade and destroy any finishes that you have applied and dry out the wood, eventually causing cracks. Choose a shady spot for your seat or at least one that gets minimal sunlight. Alternatively, purchase outdoor covers for when the furniture is not in use.
  1. Keep it cool

Similarly, keep your furniture away from heating units. The heat will cause the wood to shrink, which again will result in cracks. If you're super-serious about looking after your furniture, invest in an outdoor humidifier for when the weather gets too dry.
  1. Quick fixes

There۪s nothing worse than an accidental scratch, chip or spillage on your wooden furniture. Fix these spots quickly with shoe polish or felt-tip marker of the same colour. Meanwhile, coffee rings can be rubbed away with a mixture of everyday household items. Combine non-gel toothpaste with baking soda, or mix cooking oil with ashes from the BBQ. Use your finger or a small cloth to gently buff away the stain. Have you recently treated or revamped your wooden furniture? We۪d love to see the results. Tag us in your photos on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Gardens to Visit in the UK

Posted on March 06, 2017

Visiting a beautiful garden can do wonders when you۪re trying to inject a bit of character and colour into your own green space. And whilst we can۪t all replicate an 18th century walled Utopia in our backyards, we can still take inspiration from fellow green fingers. We۪ve rounded up some of our favourite gardens in Britain that are sure to give you ideas.

Helmsley Walled Garden, North Yorkshire

As we۪re from Yorkshire, it۪d be rude not to mention the stunning Helmsley Walled Garden. Annexed to Helmsley Castle, the 250-year-old garden has been carefully restored in recent years. Visit the five-acre space for tranquil views and vibrant horticulture. You can even have a chat with some of the staff to get further insight into their techniques and the history of the garden. Afterwards, relax in the Vine House Cafe and pick up something to take home from their plant centre. The garden is open every day from 1 April until 31 October, 10am-5pm. Admission for adults is .50 whilst children under 16 go free. Helmsley Walled Garden

Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire

History buffs will love 19th century Belvoir Castle for its grand interiors, whilst gardeners will lose themselves in the stunning Italian-influenced exteriors. Choose from walks around the formal gardens, the Japanese woodland, the duchess garden and the hermit's garden. In the meantime, the newly installed landscape, originally designed by Capability Brown, is a must-see. Spring is the perfect time to visit, as many of the flowers will be in full bloom. Belvoir Castle is open to the public on selected days from March until October. Please check their calendar for specific dates. Garden-only tickets are for adults, for children aged 4-16, and under 3s go free. If you۪re taking the family, opt for a family ticket for 5. Belvoir Castle

Threave Garden and Estate, Dumfries, Scotland

Threave Garden has fast become one of Scotland۪s most popular outdoor tourist attractions and it۪s easy to see why. Set in the shadow of a Scottish Baronial-style house, the exterior is dotted with rock gardens, water features and secret spaces. Meanwhile, there۪s also a chance for woodland walks, bird watching and bat spotting. Threave is open all year round from 10am-5pm. Access the garden only for .50 (adults), .50 (concessions) or choose a family ticket for 6.50. Threave Garden

Bodnant Garden, Conwy, Wales

The Victorian botanical collection of Bodnant Garden is a spectacular sight, with views spanning across the iconic Snowdonia. A National Trust property, the historic garden is Grade I listed and a horticultural gem. March and April are the ideal times to visit, with golden daffodils beginning to open in the rolling green fields. Adult entry to the gardens is 2, whilst children can get in for . Bodnant Garden

Trebah Garden, Cornwall

Often described as paradise۪ by visitors, Trebah Garden is nestled in a coastal Cornish valley. The subtropical space is full of canopies, exotic flowers and dazzling blooms. If you want to steer clear of a traditional British garden, this is the place to visit. Trebah Garden is open daily 10am-4:30pm. Adult tickets start from 0, whilst children 5-15 can get in for a minimum of . Trebah Garden Would you add any gardens to this list? Let us know on Facebook andTwitter.

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What To Do in Your Garden in March

Posted on February 22, 2017

March is an exciting month as we۪re on the cusp of the new season, but there۪s a lot to do to prepare for the warmer weather. It۪s the first month of spring and, depending on the weather, you may start to see your backyard come to life.

In the vegetable patch...

Prepare the beds Make the most of dry spells by improving and preparing the soil for your vegetable beds. If the rain persists, use tarpaulins to keep the area moist but not drenched. Enrich your soil with well-rotted manure or compost and use a shovel to dig and mix in the organic matter. This will allow your vegetables to feed and grow once they are planted. Meanwhile, use a rake to sift through the soil and get rid of any stones. This tip is especially important if you plan to grow carrots and salad vegetables. Start to sow As the weather improves throughout March, you may want to start sowing some seedlings. You۪ll have to wait until it۪s warm enough and keep an eye out for heavy frosts that will kill off young plants. Alternatively, sow sturdy plants in a greenhouse or cold frame. This will give your veg the protection it needs to kick-start growth. Say hello to herbs If you love adding a bit of homegrown flavour to your dishes, you should start germinating your herb plants now. Basil, parsley, chives, dill and coriander can all start to grow on an indoor windowsill at this time of year.

In the flower beds

Cutting back For flower gardens, March is certainly a month of cutting and pruning. Later in the month, if weather permits, you can begin to plant dahlias. The best conditions for these beautiful flowers are sheltered with well-drained soils. In the meantime, cut back perennials so that they have room for new growth in the spring. You۪ll also need to prune any rose bushes or shrubs that you have. Remove branches that are spindly and looking old. Buddleia will also need to be cut back to around 15cm. Tidy up your beds Additionally, your flowerbeds will need some attention. Old heads of hydrangeas should be removed and pyracantha lightly trimmed. March is also the last chance to prune your wisteria. Plant for victory There are some seeds that can be planted this month, plus next year۪s snowdrops can be planted in a shady spot.

In the nature garden

Provide a safe home March marks the near end of the transition from winter to spring and can therefore be a hard time for wildlife to survive. If you want to look after the creatures and critters in your garden, follow the steps below. As the weather gets warmer, frogs, hedgehogs and toads will emerge from hibernation. They will be looking for shelter, food and somewhere to have their young. Install a water garden March is an ideal time to set up a pond or tidy up your pre-existing water garden. Make sure frogs and toads can gain easy access to the water and phase out any goldfish as they eat tadpoles. Food for thought For larger creatures like hedgehogs, badgers and foxes, invest in some suitable food and leave it at the bottom of your yard. Avoid leaving out bread and milk as they can be quite dangerous for these mammals. A cheaper alternative, and perhaps something you already pick up during your grocery shop, is dog food. What are you planning to do in your garden in March? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Rich History of the Gazebo: From Ancient Egyptians to Elizabethan Gardens

Posted on February 15, 2017

Gardens and outdoor furniture have long been popular with people from around the world and across the vast majority of cultures. Whilst the gazebo increased in popularity in the UK during Victorian times, the love for the simple wooden structure dates back to over 5,000 years ago. Gazebos are a wonderful addition to any garden, as they offer a roof structure that۪s perfect for entertaining in this country۪s ever-changing weather. They also serve as attractive decorations for your outdoor space. Incredibly, the gazebo was first used by the ancient Egyptians over five millennia ago. They used the wooden frames to grow vines and took a lot of pride in their gardens. This was because they believed that their backyards, and therefore gazebos, would follow them to the afterlife. For Persians, a gazebo was the space to conduct business. Meanwhile, the Ancient Greeks would erect the frames in public areas, close to temples, for everyone to enjoy. At this time they would have been made from a more permanent material, such as marble. Much like us, the Romans would invest in a private gazebo as a space to escape and relax. As the population of Rome increased, there was a desire amongst richer families to build summerhouses outside the city and along the Mediterranean coastline. These would usually be fitted with a gazebo. Over in the east, gazebos were becoming more and more elaborate, especially in places such as China. In Japan, they were used to host Tea Ceremonies, as well as a place to rest and take in the natural world. Fast forward to the Middle Ages and we start to see European monarchs indulging in these ornate shelters. The Louvre had four gazebos installed during the 1300s, and as always the French kick-started a fashionable trend. During the 15th century in England, gazebos began to be used more frequently for entertainment purposes. Chinese-style pavilions quickly became popular during the 1700s with more and more popping up in the grounds of wealthy European families. It was around this time that the term gazebo۪ was first used in the English language. It came after John and William Halfpenny, two British architects, published a book on buildings in rural China. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word was coined from the word gaze added to the Latin ending -ebo۪, from videbo meaning I shall see۝. Gazebo was supposed to mean I will look۝. Nowadays, the gazebo is an affordable luxury. Easily constructed, you can relish the outdoors whilst keeping out of the direct sun this summer. Here at Woodcraft UK, we sell a wide range of elegant gazebos. Made from quality oak, iroko and hardwood, our designs can be tailored to your specific outdoor needs. So, whether you want to relax like a Roman, or enjoy a cup of tea like the Japanese, we۪ve got you covered quite literally. You can find out more about our gazebos by visiting our product page or calling us on 01482 887921.

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How to Appreciate Nature in Your Garden

Posted on February 08, 2017

Some people say that nature heals the soul. But what if we told you that you didn۪t have to venture far to appreciate it? That۪s right, you can enjoy the wonders of the natural world from the comfort of your own home, or rather, your backyard.

In this post we lookat simple ways to attract nature and wildlife to your garden, as well as how to appreciate it to the full.

Attracting Nature

Many gardeners are keen to keep all of their plants in neat rows, all of the flowers in bloom, and weeds completely out of sight. This is all well and good, but an unnatural, well-kept garden won't attract or encourage that much wildlife or diversity.

This doesn۪t mean that you can۪t have a beautiful garden; it۪s just time to start changing a few habits.

Don۪t fully clear away your weeds

When you۪re weeding, it's tempting to throw the unwanted strays straight into the garden waste bin. However, if you let them sit on top of the soil, especially on a hot day, they will dry out and eventually decompose back into the ground.

The soil will be full of nutrients, which will, in turn, encourage bugs, birds and small mammals into your garden.

Grow wildflowers

If you love seeing a backyard in bloom and want to attract creatures and critters, growing wildflowers could be your answer.

Invite stunning butterflies into your garden by planting buddleia. Meanwhile, bees adore native species of plants with an open flower for easy access to nectar. Other seeds to plant include foxglove, bluebell, crocus, cornflower and globe thistle.

Designate a space for wildlife

Some gardeners are keen to keep their outdoor patch nice and neat, but by setting aside a special place for wildlife, you can attract all sorts of fascinating beasts.

Choose an area in your garden and vow to leave it alone to do its own thing. Leaving a small section of lawn to grow wild in this way will create a miniature meadow, which entices small mammals to feed on the long grass and insects.

Add to the area with piles of deadwood to promote even more bug life, and you۪ll have all sorts of exciting foragers stopping by.

Install nature-friendly features

You don۪t have to turn your outdoor haven into a rugged wilderness to create a bit of biodiversity. Hanging a bird feeder and putting up a nest box is an easy yet effective way of getting the attention of local feathered friends.

Additionally, you can include a birdbath or even install a water garden. These both provide a water source for drinking and washing, with ponds in particular bringing in delightful insects and amphibians.

Adapt your indoor wildlife

If you have a pet cat, be sure to pop a bell on its collar so you don۪t end up with one of your new garden friends lying on the doormat.

In the meantime, try to exercise your dog away from your back garden. A large excitable mammal running around will intimidate smaller creatures and birds long-term.

Sit back and enjoy

Now it's time to appreciate your new nature-friendly garden in all its glory.

All you need is a nice spot where you can quietly sit and relax. A garden bench or chair is the perfect solution, and you could pair it with a wooden coffee table or picnic bench for much-needed refreshments. Once these are in place, you'll be well on your way to enjoying an afternoon of nature watching.

If you get snap happy and take some interesting photos, be sure to tag us in your pics onFacebook and Twitter.

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What To Do in Your Garden in February

Posted on February 01, 2017

As we brush off January۪s winter chill, we can now see the signs of spring approaching. This month, bulbs will start to appear and wildlife will begin to wake up as the temperature increases and the days get longer. Whether you grow veggies, prune flowers or are passionate about wildlife, we۪ve rounded up some jobs for you to do in your garden this February.

Vegetable growers

It۪s time to start clearing away any damage that winter has caused and make most of dry and sunny days by working in the garden. Prep your patch You can use this month to clear ground in your vegetable patch to make room for the year۪s veggies. Spread manure if you would like to grow crops that love moisture-absorbent soil. These include leafy vegetables and beans. Meanwhile, get garden compost ready for next month۪s sowing, as this will take 6 to 8 weeks to produce. Sow the seeds Although it۪s far too early to start sowing most seeds, you۪ll be able to plant some early seedlings if you have a greenhouse or a frame. These can include cabbage, celery, parsley, tomato, leek and onion. Nonetheless, wait until the middle or end of the month to do this. A sharp frost could kill young plants even in a heated, protective shelter. Early varieties of potatoes can be chitted and laid down in trays to form short sprouts, providing you have a cool, bright place away from the frost to store them.

Flower people

If you just love to see your garden in full bloom, we have some quick and easy jobs for you to complete this month. Bed down Many summer bedding plants, such as geranium, impatiens, nicotiana and petunia, can be sown in a propagator, either in a heated greenhouse or on a windowsill. Just make sure that you keep the seedlings at approximately 21 and avoid over-watering, as this can lead to seedlings dying off. Cut and prune Cuttings from over-wintered flowers, such as chrysanthemums, can be taken during February. Meanwhile, gardeners should prune back any summer-flowering plants, such as clematis, ahead of their rapid spring growth spurt. In bloom If you planted some early flowering bulbs, such as alliums, last autumn, you may be seeing them come into their own this month.

Naturalists

If your backyard is a paradise for nature, you may want to take some provisions in February to keep it that way.

Look after your birds

Wild birds will seriously appreciate nutritious food this month, so be sure to have a good selection and keep bird feeders topped up at all times. Simultaneously, keep your bird table and bath clean by regularly washing them down. A full birdbath will be loved by the birds visiting your garden looking to prune prior to mating season. On this note, now is a great time to put up nesting boxes ready for spring. These can also be bought or made for bees and insects.

Pond life

Meanwhile, if you have a pond, use floating plants and heather to prevent ice from forming over the entire surface. February is also a great time to start thinking about planning and digging a water garden if you don۪t already have one.

Just out of hibernation

You can further encourage nature by putting out logs and rock piles to create areas of shelter for wildlife coming out of hibernation. Be sure to pop out food and water for hedgehogs and badgers too. What will you be doing in your garden this February? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

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The 6 Benefits of Sitting Outdoors This Summer

Posted on September 01, 2016

With warm, pleasant days and lighter evenings, summer is officially here. This means it۪s time to get outside and soak up some rays. There are so many great benefits to venturing outdoors, from vital health advantages to an increase in your life satisfaction just remember to use that sun cream Relax and unwind Sitting outside on a summer۪s day and immersing yourself in beautiful nature can be a much-needed escape from modern day life. The hustle and bustle of the daily grind will melt away as you sit back and absorb the tranquil atmosphere of your backyard haven or peaceful local park. The natural environment has been proven to combat stress and anxiety, and it is also claimed to help depression. Increase your Vitamin D intake One reason that springs to mind when considering the advantages of the great outdoors is the improvement of Vitamin D levels. The hormone is essential to maintaining a healthy immune system and strong bones, prevents diseases, and generally increases your lifespan. Sitting outside even on the dullest of days can increase your intake, making it one of the easiest ways to improve your health and wellbeing. Improve your eyesight Get away from those glaring computer and TV screens by leaving the Wi-Fi hotspot and going outside. By focusing your eyes on a wider landscape, you will be able to improve the near-sightedness۪ that develops when too much time is spent in front of a screen. Ironically, you will probably see more by looking beyond the weird and wonderful world of the smartphone! Breathe more Meanwhile, breathing in fresh air has also been proven as an excellent way to improve your physical health. Oxygenating the body increases blood circulation, which is brilliant news for all of the body۪s organs, especially the heart. Get rhythm Over-exposure to indoor artificial lighting can cause disruption to your circadian rhythm. Simply put, it can alter your body clock and disturb your natural sleep pattern. As humans we are programmed to sleep when the sun sets and wake up when it rises again; therefore, spending too much time hidden away from natural light can alter your natural cycle. Absorb enough natural light during the day and you will be sure to have a sound night۪s sleep. Enjoyment Moreover, being outside is an ideal way to have fun and surrounding ourselves with nature has been confirmed to increase levels of happiness. Whether you just want to sit on a bench and enjoy a book or take up a whole new hobby like birdwatching or gardening, being outdoors can really bring pleasure to your life. What is your favourite outdoor hobby? We۪d love to know! Send us your thoughts on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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Enjoying the Outdoors with Nature in Mind

Posted on August 30, 2016

We absolutely adore nature. From the smell of freshly cut grass to the randomly distributed patterns of wildflowers, you can't beat getting outdoors and taking in its splendidbeauty. This applies under all seasonalconditions, with the sound of falling rain and the crisp perfection of a fresh blanket of snow being in close competition with the more obvious days of glorious sunshine.Whatever the weather, we at Woodcraft UK makeour furniture with nature in mind.

That's why everything we create is handcrafted by seasoned specialists, often to our own designs that have proven popular over the decades, yet tweaking features when the mood takes us. We also pay homage to classic formsthat are famous across the world, such as the truly attractiveLutyens Bench, which combines satisfying straight lines and symmetry with soft and smooth curves that conjure up the movement of a light breeze. The Lutyens is an excellent example of how we combinepracticality and durability withaesthetic appeal, resulting in a striking piece of outdoor wooden furniture that fits a private back garden as well as a public park, churchyard or corporate plaza.

Established in 1990, we've been creating superior outdoor wooden furniture for over 25 years. In this time we've gained a superb reputation for celebrating the traditional whilst retaining a sense of fun and imagination, with projects over the decades ranging from just 6 to a whopping 5,000. Needless to say, the vast majority of our product ranges are at the more affordableendof the spectrum, and you can find a full list of products and prices right here.

As well as quality and consistency of product, we also pride ourselves on exceptional customer experience. From your initial enquiry right the way through to after-sales care, we're here to help you find the perfect piece of outdoor wooden furniture to suit your specific needs. In fact, we're so dedicated to customer satisfaction that we'll come up with a solution if there isn't one available. This is achieved by making use of our bespoke furniture service, offering the ability to design and build products to fit even the most uncompromising and bizarre spaces.

And it isn't just about private homes. We supply street furniture to local authorities, hospitals, businesses, churches, factory sites, heritageorganisations, schools andtourism boards on a regular basis. From coast to coast and everywhere in-between, not to mention a few European locations, we've suppliedpicnic tables, gazebosandpergolas far and wide. We alsobuild striking noticeboards, signposts, bollards and cabins, helping people to read community news, find their way around, park effectively and wait for a bus in comfort and style.

During this process, we'renever waver from our serious commitment to looking after our planet, usingevery piece of material as efficiently as possible and keeping wastage and carbon emissions to an absolute minimum. With all of our hardwoods, softwoods and panel materials sourced from well-managed forests around the world, we thenreuse and recycle materials where appropriate. Working to accommodateenvironmental timber standards, including investigating the accreditation of an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Group environmental certification policy, you can rest assured that your new bench set is ethically designed and lovingly made.

Want to know more? Get in touch today and we'll answer any questions you have, as well as recommend the ideal product to suit your requirements.

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The Best Bank Holiday BBQ Ever

Posted on August 26, 2016

Happy Bank Holiday! This may be the last weekend of 2016 that you can get the BBQ out and grill up some tasty treats for your friends and family. But, as we all know, the responsibility of the barbie is a serious business, and takes true skill and dedication. That۪s why we۪ve gathered our top tips for delivering the best chargrilled morsels to your guests. Invest Don۪t get us wrong, disposable BBQs are great as a portable solution to your outdoor cooking needs, but if you want seriously delicious food all summer long, it۪s time to invest. Many suggest choosing a charcoal BBQ in order to achieve a charred taste that۪s worlds away from the oven in the kitchen. But whether you opt for a gas or charcoal fuelled appliance, be sure to put some money aside for the correct tools. Nothing۪s worse than dropping a perfectly cooked sausage on the grass because your tongs are terrible, or burning your hand because you۪re not wearing appropriate heat-protective gloves. Have patience One of the biggest rookie errors when it comes to outdoor grilling is being impatient. If you۪re using a charcoal grill, be sure to wait until the coals are white hot before you begin cooking. Meanwhile, if you۪ve opted for gas, hold your hand around five to six inches above the hot surface; if you can keep it there for longer than one second, it۪s probably not ready to cook on. Be homemade At this time of year, there is an array of BBQ-ready treats available. However, add a handmade touch to your dish by creating burgers from scratch. It۪s very simple to do and extremely cost-effective too: all you need is some minced meat, some onions and a few herbs and spices. Of course, you can add almost anything you want into your creation, but we find garlic and chillies are a good shout. Meanwhile, stick with salt and pepper to play it safe when cooking for new guests. Mix the meat up with the seasoning and roll into small balls ready to be squashed into a patty shape. Be a bit adventurous Don۪t just stick to burgers and sausages, why not really stand out from the crowd by adding a selection of eats to the grill? Try smoked salmon or prawns, and test out some turkey burgers all healthier alternatives to traditional red meats. Don۪t get carried away by the meat We all know that meat is made for BBQs (or maybe the other way around), but it۪s fantastic to sample some other food groups when serving up a balanced meal for your guests. Chargrill some cheeky corn on the cobs and make a gorgeous crunchy salad to tuck into alongside the feast. For the carbohydrates, prepare some couscous and flatbreads to mop it all up with. Be safe Grilling meat outdoors can be a health hazard if not carried out correctly, so be sure to check that it is fully cooked before handing it out to your guests. No one will want to come to a party of yours again if they had to go home early because they were feeling poorly. Have fun and relax Just remember, summer is about having a good time. Be sure to save a sausage or two for yourself, kick back with a beer and relax with great company. Have you got any failsafe BBQ tips? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

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Great Feedback That Tells a Story

Posted on August 25, 2016

We pride ourselves on creating outdoor wooden furniture that's not only attractive, comfortable and safe, but also highly robust and weather-resistant. Made from the finest materials and handcrafted to our unique designs that have stood the test of time, we guarantee that your wooden bench, table, gazebo or pergolawill remain in perfect working order and provide a treat for the eyes year after year. Thanks to the incredibly high quality of the timber that we use, your bench or table doesn't even need to be varnished, which will result in a natural weathered look. However, many customers choose to apply glossor paint their furniture,giving it a whole new character and maintaining the specific appearance that they desire. Whilst we know all of the above like the back of our hands, it's always good to receive feedback from a happy customer. Even better is when they send a photo of their Woodcraft UK furniture, such as Ernie Howard contacting our Facebook page this week with the following message: "I have just cleaned and reapplied this year's coat of Deks Olje to my 20-year-old Woodcraft UK bench and it has come up like new. Beautiful craftsmanship and great quality." (That's Ernie's photoat the top.) Woodcraft UK was established by our founder Michael Davidson back in 1990, so Ernie was a relatively early customer. Though we're not surprised by the condition of his bench after all these years, we're absolutely delighted that it's still bringing him as much joy as it did back in1996, the year when everyone was singing 'Wannabe' by the Spice Girls and Buzz Lightyear could be found on the shelves of toy shops across the nation. It truly is amazing how much things can change in twenty or so years. When Ernie bought his beloved bench, the Internet had barely taken off and online shopping was still very basic, with social media years away from being released. Fast forward to today, and the vast majority of our sales originate right here on our website, often as a result of our followers clicking through from Facebook and Twitter. And yet some things stay the same, such as hundreds oforders being placed by local authorities all around the UK, andcountless other items of outdoor wooden furniture being delivered to homes of all shapes and sizes. From barbecues in back gardens to picnics in public parks, and fromreading news on churchyard noticeboards to finding directions on rural signposts, our products are fulfilling their purpose all over the place. Do you have a Woodcraft UK creation that you love? Whether you purchased it last week or last century, we'd love to hear your stories. Tell us about your family growing up around anoutdoor table seteach summer, or your council's benches offering well-deserved rest to ramblers on the outskirts of your city. Every Woodcraft UK producttells a story and we want to know yours! To shareyour feedback, please tag us on social media (click the links above or search for "Woodcraft UK"). Alternatively, email us via our contact form or leave a review on our Google+ page. However you reach us, we look forward to hearing your stories and thank you for choosing Woodcraft UK.

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Have the Perfect Picnic this Bank Holiday

Posted on August 15, 2016

This Bank Holiday weekend, why not make the most of the last drops of summer with an outdoor picnic? Whether you۪re heading down to your local park with your kids, or would rather spend a quiet night in the garden, we۪ve rounded up our best tips that will enhance your al fresco dining experience. Keep it simple When you have a lot of mouths to feed, things can soon get pretty complicated, and before you know it you۪re taking everything on your day trip bar the kitchen sink! Be sure to only prep foods that are easily portable, and invest in some lightweight, plastic crockery and cutlery for effortless carrying. This is especially important if you do plan to venture a little further than your backyard. Tip: Bring along easy, non-fussy finger-foods like sandwiches and dips. Salads are a tasty summer snack, but may cause a mess and often require cutlery. Keep it organised Planning ahead is always a good idea, particularly if you۪re feeding more people than usual. Be sure to get a quick idea of who is coming and what food they like to eat; this way, you will know roughly how much to bring and there won۪t be many leftovers. Tip: If you۪re meeting up with another family or group of friends, ask them to bring along dessert or some snacks of their own this way everyone will have something to nibble on. Keep it comfy Remember to pack a large blanket or two so everyone has enough room to sit within easy reach of the array of delicious food. You could also put out a couple of cushions or extra blankets in case it gets cooler, and it might be wise to bring a brolly in case it rains. Tip: Umbrellas can also provide some respite from the sun. Location, location, location Be sure to park your picnic basket in the shade, as there۪s nothing worse than warm sandwiches, or trying to eat in direct sunlight for that matter. Find a patch under a tree or bring a parasol. Keep it cool Speaking of keeping everything fresh, cool boxes are a great investment, especially if you۪re not planning on tucking into your lunch right away. Although a wicker basket creates the perfect summer aesthetic, they۪re not very practical when keeping food at the correct temperature. Avoid upset tummies and spoiled snacks by packing everything into a cool bag, and after you۪ve eaten you can use it for chilling your beers. Tip: Frozen water and juice bottles will double-up as ice blocks to keep your food fresh, and provide you with a cold drink later on. Other things to think about Picnics aren۪t all about the food, so make sure you pack a few other essential items too. Take along some sun cream even if it۪s not that hot, as being outdoors for long periods can result in sunburn and skin damage. Avoid sticky fingers by bringing along baby wipes or napkins, and be sure to take a bin bag or two in order to leave your spot rubbish free after you leave. What is your picnic essential? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

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5 Things To Do in Scarborough this Summer

Posted on August 08, 2016

For many, there۪s nothing better than a summer۪s day out at the coast. Breathing in the salty air, enjoying the feel of sand between your toes, and grabbing a cheeky bag of chips before you head home. That۪s why in this post we۪re talking about Scarborough, one of the original UK seaside resorts. Scarborough SEA LIFE Explore the fascinating underwater world at Scarborough SEA LIFE and spot hundreds of different aquatic creatures. Learn about the important conservation work that the centre carries out, locally and with partners across the world, including the preservation of endangered sea turtles and sharks. Meanwhile, meet Ed the seal as he splashes around, or visit Pumpkin and Eric, the resident otters. The interactive rock pool experience is perfect for little ones who are just discovering the sense of touch, whilst the Pirate Adventure Mini Gold will bring the whole family together. Scarborough SEA LIFE is open 10am-6pm daily. Visit www2.visitsealife.com/scarborough to purchase tickets. North Bay Railway Opened in the 1930s, this famous attraction is steeped in history, including being the home to one of the three surviving water chutes in the country. Ride on the miniature railway from Peasholm Park to Scalby Mills Station, and take in the stunning views of the North Bay. Afterwards, pedal your way around the boating lake; located in the centre of the Northstead Manor Gardens, the lake offers a space for water lovers to enjoy. If you۪re feeling brave, take on the treetop Sky Trail, an adrenaline-pumping rope and beam course. Alternatively, relax and unwind with a cup of tea in the Glass House Caf̩, or perhaps something stronger in the Boatman۪s Tavern Yorkshire۪s smallest real ale pub! To find out more information about opening times and ticket prices, please visit www.nbr.org.uk Scarborough Castle An English Heritage site, this panoramic location offers beautiful scenes of the charismatic bay and coastline. Experience 3,000 years of local history within the vast exhibition, featuring work tools and pottery from a past era, including a Bronze Age replica sword that was found on the ancient site. Also be sure to head to the Master Gunner۪s House to sample delicious tea and cakes against the backdrop of incredible coastal views. Open daily 10am-6pm, the castle offers free entry to all English Heritage members. To see their full list of ticket prices, please visit their website. Stephen Joseph Theatre If you۪re after a bit of drama, make your way to the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Enjoy everything from marvellous musicals to sidesplitting comedy, and even catch that film you۪ve been wanting to see for ages. Equipped with its own corridor gallery and a bistro serving light bites and three-course meals, this beautiful playhouse is a must-visit whilst in Scarborough. For a list of what۪s on at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, please check out www.sjt.uk.com. Peasholm Park The picturesque space that is Peasholm Park offers a tranquil getaway from the stress of modern life. Everyone in the family will enjoy the idyllic scenery of the vast park, which includes a natural glen and stream, a peaceful lake for pedaloes and a tree-carving trail. The area is ideal for a picnic and you can follow the ornate trees throughout the wood as you spot fascinating local wildlife. Later on, why not take the weight off your feet at one of the two cafes located on the grounds? Peasholm Park is open daily from 10am-5pm. Their website, www.peasholmpark.com, offers more information about the availability of the individual activities. If you do visit Scarborough this summer, we۪d love to hear about it. Tag us in your photos on Facebook and Twitter.

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Help Woodcraft to Support a Worthy Cause

Posted on July 30, 2016

Here at Woodcraft UK, we're no stranger to helping out a worthy cause. Similar to how we only use sustainable materials sourced from well-managed forests, we're dedicated to doing our bit to make the world a better place. Part of this commitment is charitable donations and fundraising activity, with a recent example being when we supplied a free bench toBilton,WytonandGanstead Memorial Playing Fields.

For the past fewmonths, owner Michael Davidson has been training rigorouslyin preparation fora cycling eventin aid of Bloodwise, the organisation that has been fighting to beat blood cancer since 1960. But this isn't just any old pedal-powered jaunt; it's the London to Paris Bike Ride in September, taking Michael and 250 other participants over300 milesfrom one capital city to another.

Bloodwise is an essential charity that has been striving for over 55 years to help those diagnosed with and affected by blood-related disorders, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.These diseases can irrevocably change and, ultimately, end lives,especially because treatments are often unavailable or less effective than they should be. Over the decades, Bloodwise (formerly Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research) has invested over 00 million in world-class blood cancer research, bringing tangible results to people of all ages across the country. Currently funding over 1,000 researchers and clinicians across220 active projects, it's clear that Bloodwise means business; and yet, as with all charities, these sterling efforts could be at risk if public and corporate donations were to diminish.

Passionate about this crucial institution, Michael has overcome his enforced cycling hiatus brought about by a cycling accident in January 2015, which led to a full hip replacement and many months of intense physiotherapy. Training furiously with his friendunder the nickname TheYorkie Boys, the Woodcraft UK founder is now able to cycle over 40 miles in a single session with ease. However, the London to Paris Bike Ride demandsfar more than this: taking place over four days, with each day covering 80 miles, itis a truly strenuous task tackledonly by those who know they can complete it. With a love of cycling and the great outdoors, a worthy cause to backand a promise to himself to conqueratrophied muscles, Michael is looking forward to the event with unmaskedzeal.

With countless daysof training required, Woodcraft UK is covering all of the costs of Michael's participation in the London to Paris Bike Ride. This means that anyone throwing a few pounds into the bucket can rest assured that 100% goes directly to Bloodwise, makinga real difference to lives right now and in the future. From developing new treatments and drug combinations, to offeringwritten information andemotional assistanceto patients and their families, the charity blends scientific progress with intensely human actions.That's why Michael is asking readers to sponsor him for any amount they can via JustGiving, with the aim of reaching ,000 by mid September. Together, Michael and Woodcraft UK would like to sincerely thank everyone who gets involved, with every single penny donated playing its part.

If you'd like to find out more about Bloodwise and show them your support long-term, please visitwww.bloodwise.org.ukand follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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Creating your own herb garden

Posted on July 18, 2016

Starting a herb garden is a simple way to add flavour to your kitchen and beauty to your garden. Whether you want to fully commit and plant them in designated flowerbeds or only want to sample a few potted plants, herb growing can be an excellent way to catch the gardening bug. Choose your location When selecting the position of your flavoursome feature, you need to ensure that the area receives enough sunlight and is well drained. Pick a spot in your garden that gets at least four or more hours of sunlight, unless it۪s a particularly hot summer, at which point you may need to make sure they get regular shade too. If possible, it might also be worth placing them near the kitchen window, so they can be easily harvested whilst you۪re cooking meals. Prepare the soil Herbs need plenty of nutrients, a good drainage system and space to grow. Therefore, if your soil is sandy or laced with clay, be sure to incorporate plenty of fertiliser you can do this by adding an inch of compost to the top of the soil and then mixing it all together. Tip: Avoid composted manures when growing herbs because these are high in nitrogen, which speeds up the growing process but stunts the flavours. To allow for water to easily drain from the herbs, grab a large garden fork and dig through the soil. This process will create room for the water as well as the roots. If you do choose to use planters, make sure to puncture holes in the bottom of the pots. Select your herbs The herbs you choose to grow will depend on your palate. Sample a few fresh herbs from the local supermarket to find out what you like. Also take into account what sort of meals you often cook. If you love Italian flavours, try growing some basil, or if you prefer hearty meals like stews and casseroles, rosemary might be the seasoning for you. There are so many to choose from but the most common variations are oregano, dill, chives, sage, mint, and of course, basil and rosemary. Plant your herbs Herb gardens can be easily started by sowing seeds or plants. Seeds are a good option when on a budget; although less simple to plant than established herbs, they are not that difficult. Watch them grow Once your culinary patch is planted, it will need around two inches of water each week. Furthermore, be sure to harvest regularly as this will help the plant produce even more foliage. Tip: Freeze or dry your yield at the end of the season, so you can enjoy fresh herbs all year round. Share your green-fingered creations What۪s your ideal garden? Vegetable patch, herb garden or flowerbed? We۪d love to know! Share your pictures with us on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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Cycling is in the Blood

Posted on July 13, 2016

Michael Davidson, owner of Woodcraft UK, is an avid cyclist, yet hissessionshave been on hold since January 2015following an accident whilst out on his bike. This resulted in the breaking of his femur which, despite two attempts to fix, led to a full hip replacement in January of this year. Michael has beenundergoingintensivephysiotherapyever since and is now back on two wheels, working hard to rebuild the muscles that had atrophied during a long period of inactivity. Theaccident took place whilst training for the London to Paris Bike Ride, which he sadly never got to take part in. However, with a worthy cause to push him forward, Michaelis determinedto complete this year's edition of the 500km trek that will take him from one capital city to another. The charity in question isBloodwise(formerlyLeukaemiaand Lymphoma Research), which iscommittedto battling life-threatening diseases and blood cancer. With over 30,000 people in the UK diagnosed each year, the fatality rate is significantly high due to a lack of proper treatments being available. As with many charities,Bloodwiseis dependent on public donations and corporate sponsorship to continue its crucialresearch, clinical trials, awareness campaigns andpatientsupport. In operation since 1960, the charitylooks for ways to stop blood cancer before it starts by working with health professionals, patients and their families, researchers, fundraisers, volunteers and many more people involved in and affected by blood-related disorders, includingleukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Bydeveloping new treatments and drug combinations, theorganisationisgivingblood cancer patients the best possible chance of survival. So, by supportingBloodwise, you could be helping to save the life of a loved one in the future. The London to Paris Bike Ride will see 250 cyclists of all ages and abilities depart from the historic Eltham Palace on Thursday 15 September and arrive on the stylishChamps-lys̩esfour days later. Whilst covering some beautiful stretches of countryside and bustling urban hotspots, it is needless to say agruelingandunsympathetictask, even for the more experienced cyclist. As a result, large amounts of hardcore and comprehensive training are required, covering stamina, strength, perseverance, balance and coordination in order to match the demands of the route. "This may be an ordeal in cycling terms," said Michael,"but it's nothing compared to whatthose affectedby blood-related diseaseshave to go through.I'll be cycling with a friend, and we call ourselves TheYorkie Boys." Michael can now easily exceed 40 miles in a single session, but there's still some way to go as thechallenge requires riding 80 miles a day for four days in a row. As part of the training, and to take in some glorious scenery, the duo are cyclingthe TransPennineTrail, which hosts a fair few of our wooden outdoorproducts, from tables and benches to signposts and noticeboards. "Woodcraft UK is covering the costs for this activity," added Michael, "so every penny donated by supporters goes direct toBloodwise." If you'd like to sponsor Michael on his mega journey from England to France, please visit his JustGiving page. Every penny is greatly appreciated and will go toward making a real difference for people across the UK for many years to come.

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5 Steps to Creating the Perfect Compost Pile

Posted on July 06, 2016

Composting is a great way to cut down on waste, as well as being extremely beneficial to the environment. You can divert as much as 30% of your household rubbish to your compost heap, meaning reduced landfill and less damage to the planet. If you۪re a keen gardener, a compost system is an ideal way to introduce useful nutrients to your soil, offering a free, natural alternative to harsh chemical fertilisers. Here are 5 simple steps to creating the perfect compost pile. Set up your compost heap Special containers are a great solution for composting in smaller backyards, as they will allow for hygienic, tidy and compact rotting. However, if you are lucky enough to have a huge garden, why not opt for a well-kept compost heap? Locate your compost in a well-drained spot to ensure that any excess water or liquids can be drained away easily. Easy access will also allow worms to enter the pile and get on with the job of breaking down the contents. Put the good stuff in Compost materials can be separated into two, easy to remember categories: greens۪ and browns۪. Green ingredients are nitrogen-rich and often described as wet۪, including vegetable peelings, fruit waste, coffee grounds, tea bags, wet leaves, fresh grass clippings and plant trimmings. On the other hand, brown components are dry۪ and high in carbon, such as dead leaves, straw, hay, woodchips and sawdust, hair or animal fur, egg and nut shells, and shredded paper. You۪ll need to add around 50% of each, but because green materials tend to be much heavier, you will require more buckets of the brown stuff. Tip: Adding a layer of browns on top of the greens will cut down the chance of flies and maggots and mask unpleasant odours. Leave the bad stuff out Of course, not everything can be broken down and result in lovely compost. Avoid meat, dairy products and diseased plants, and certainly steer clear of popping in dog poo, cat litter or soiled nappies. These will all attract unwanted pests and unpleasant smells. It۪s also best to leave out any plants that have been treated with pesticides, because the harsh chemicals could defeat the object when adding the finished fertiliser to your garden. Meanwhile, take care when adding roots of plants to your pile these could easily sprout into whole new plants! Remember, anything made of plastic, glass or metal will not rot and should be recycled separately. Ensure your compost is aerated Keep your heap healthy and be sure it has room to breathe. This can be achieved by regular turning of the mixture to rotate the waste as it rots. Another great idea is to add cardboard egg boxes or scrunched up paper to the pile, as these items will create much-needed air pockets and breathing space. What now? Creating compost is certainly a waiting game, but if you follow these simple steps, in a few months you will have a beautiful, deep brown, spongy layer at the bottom of your bin. This will soon be ready to spread around your garden to improve the quality of your soil, retain its moisture and reduce weeds.

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How to Attract Birds Into Your Garden

Posted on July 01, 2016

Encouraging birdies to visit your green space can be extremely rewarding, not to mention very enjoyable. Birds can bring beauty to even the dullest plot, nothing quite beats hearing the carol of a thrush or song of a robin on a peaceful morning. Moreover, with the rapid decline of many species, it is vital that all garden owners begin to take their part in conservation seriously. By giving birds a reason to come to your garden, such as providing food, water and shelter, you will be able to entice countless avian visitors. Food A great first step that almost always draws in local wildlife is offering food. A wide range of seeds and nuts are essential if you want to attract an assortment of species, and they are available fairly cheaply from most garden stores. Providing a variety of ways to feed also promotes diversity some species, like blackbirds, prefer to feed from the ground. Take care to position feeding stations near to cover, for instance a bush, to allow smaller birds to escape predation. Be sure to clean your bird feeders regularly to avoid spreading bacteria and disease (pouring boiling hot water frequently through the apparatus should do the trick). Growing your own berry trees and shrubs is a brilliant long-term feeding solution, especially for providing food in the winter. The bushes will furthermore double up as shelter for nesting birds in the spring and summer. Water A water source is equally as important when tempting birds into your backyard. A birdbath or pond not only enables birds to drink and bathe, but also serves as an attractive addition to any garden. Nevertheless, birds are far from fussy and an upturned dustbin lid, filled with water, will perform the same job as any stone bath or water garden. According to the RSPB, the best water baths are 2.5cm 10cm deep, with a slope for birds of all sizes to enjoy. As previously stressed about the feeding stations, bird baths should be refilled and cleaned on a frequent basis. Shelter The third component to creating a haven for birds is providing the right shelter. Nest boxes are a straightforward way to offer housing for our feathered friends. Putting boxes up before winter will give plenty of time for a variety of species to occupy them. Check that the boxes are situated in covered areas, away from direct sunlight, and at least 1.5 5 metres above the ground, so as to protect against adverse weather conditions and unwanted predators. Keeping the boxes sanitary is also crucial clean them out in autumn, but avoid disturbing the houses from March to July because this is the main breeding season. Adapting your garden in the right way can do wonders when constructing rich habitat for birds. This can be achieved really easily and doesn۪t necessarily mean having a wild, overgrown plot. Supplying a healthy mixture of surroundings, from dense shrubs and climbers, to more open areas of lawn, will ensure visits from a multiplicity of species. If you are thinking of more long-lasting results, consider planting a tree, dedicating a section of your garden to wild flowers or starting a wildlife pond. With these three simple tips you are certain to catch a glimpse of some of the UK۪s most stunning garden birds, from the common sparrow to the delightful blue tit and colourful Goldfinch. Get your cameras at the ready and send us your wildlife snaps via our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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Every Company Has a Story To Tell

Posted on June 30, 2016

Every company has a story to tell, but some stories are more unexpected than others. Many would assume that a supplier of outdoor wooden furniture originated from a childhood passion for crafting objects out of timber, or a lifelong hobby that gradually developed into a well-respected business. Not so with Woodcraft UK. Company owner, Michael Davidson, was working as an IT contractor in a role that took him across the UK, helping businesses to optimise their operations using computers. This was back in the 1980s, so the technology was a lot different from what we have today, with Michael assessing and advising on the type of machinery that can now genuinelybe found in museums. Nevertheless, his occupation required a great amount of technical understanding, analytical thinking and financial savvy, the combination of which allowed him to take everything from start-ups to established corporations into a brave new world of digital trade. It was during this stagein life that Michael decided he required something of a high contrast to keep him occupied during his spare time. A leisure activity far removed from screens and keyboards, which instead requires a keen eye for tangible detail, and a steady hand that means the difference between success and starting all over again. Whilst code can be rewritten and wires can be unplugged and reinserted as required, Michael recognised the necessity for precision that woodcraft offers to novices and experts alike. With wood, there۪s only so much whittling, planing and sanding that can be done before you find yourself with mere slivers in your hand. Woodcarving is a pursuit that presentscountless phasesof improvement, enhancement and learning, yet the individual pieces of material can only provide so much versatility due to their physical limitations. Put simply, it'stheperfect balance betweenendless potential and crucial resourcefulness. And so it was that Michael joined a woodwork course. From the very first lesson, it was clear that he۪d made the right decision, with so much to discover and memorise, yet ample room to experiment, tweak and express. With each session, our founder realised that working with wood was becoming much more than just a pastime, permitting freedom and ownership in equal measure. Perhaps ironically for someone who had focused on computer operating systems for so long, working with wood was finally opening windows. The rest of our story is predictable, yet no less inspiring for being so. Michael ended his career in IT and created Woodcraft UK, a small but ambitious company that for a time placed an emphasis on gifts and toys, particularly dollhouse furniture. However, it wasn۪t long before a pattern emerged, with customers requesting life-size items that they could enjoy for themselves. This led to memorial benches emerging ashis new specialism, which in turn evolved into a range of outdoor wooden furnishings that include tables, gazebos, pergolas, signposts, noticeboards and even bollards. Established in 1990, Woodcraft UK now has an impressive portfolio of clients, from local authorities and private households, to the Royal Mail and Trans Pennine Trail. Wherever you are in the UK, if you۪re taking a stroll through a heritage site or picnicking on a beach, driving through a city centre or playing with the kids ina public garden, there۪s a very high chance that you۪ll encounter one of oursignature products. Whilst some stand out due to their sheer beauty of form, others are so wonderfully functional that you may take them completely for granted. Whatever the case, you can rest assured that over 25 years of experience, passion and integrity have gone into every curve, angle and surface. That۪s the Woodcraft UK guarantee, and we۪re ready and waiting for you to experience it for yourself. To find out more about our products, please visit our garden furniture range. Or if you۪re looking for something that can۪t be found anywhere else, take advantage of our bespoke service. We can create anything you wish, the only limit is your imagination.

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Living the Pond Life

Posted on June 22, 2016

Promoting relaxation, preserving local wildlife and even serving as an educational hive, a pond or water feature can improve your home in a number of ways. With the added bonus of being easy to maintain, they are a fun method of introducing a new interest or hobby into your life. Here are our top 5 benefits of owning a pond or water garden. Attracting wildlife Even the smallest water feature can entice a broad range of wildlife, from amphibians like frogs, toads and newts, to insects such as pond snails and dragonflies, and even mammals and birds that like to drink from the water. A garden pond, if maintained properly, can provide a diverse ecosystem, serving as a breeding site and home to many declining species. A tip for attracting frogs to your garden: They are private animals that like to be in the cool. To build a frog shelter, turn a plant pot on its side, partially burying it in the surrounding soil. Cover it with shrubs or other plants to blend it further into the landscape. Relaxing and aesthetic Water features are believed to promote relaxation and stress relief. Listening to the soothing sound of trickling water, whilst sitting in your backyard, undoubtedly helps to unwind and feel peaceful. The visual enchantment of a beautiful pond, full of life and colour, provides inspiration on the dullest of days. Plant some wild flowers or add a cheeky gnome to give a charming personal touch to your pond. Use unwanted space Ponds are a striking addition to any garden. Whether you prefer a pristine water feature equipped with a flowing fountain, or want to construct a rugged nature garden, ponds (quite literally) bring a garden to life. A water garden is also a great way to use up an awkward space that would otherwise be unused. Stunning focal points, ponds transform any backyard into a peaceful haven that thrives with wildlife. The best thing? It۪s just as easy to take care of a pond as it is to cultivate a lawn or flower garden! A new hobby The enjoyment of cultivating your own ecosystem, attracting local wildlife and creating a space of peace and harmony can easily develop into a favourite pastime. Pond keeping is not necessarily a difficult task; indeed, it can be a simple way to abandon the troubles of modern life. Experience biodiversity at first hand as you get lost in your own backyard exploring, building and maintaining a thriving water garden. Educational Rich habitats for a wide array of life forms, ponds act as outdoor classrooms. Creating a water garden allows both children and adults to interact with the natural world, developing an understanding of the environment and our responsibility to it. Get the kids involved with your pond or water garden: the magic of maintaining a pond teaches the key aspects of life birth, death and reproduction whilst perhaps influencing a new generation of environmentalists. The pond life is not one to be taken lightly, as they do require regular upkeep and attention. Nonetheless, they are a fairly straightforward way to develop different skills, gain new knowledge and retire from the stresses of everyday life.

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How to Throw a Summer Garden Party

Posted on June 12, 2016

A garden gathering is a perfect way to spend a lazy summer afternoon with friends or family. Whether you۪re keeping it simple with tea and cake or going all out with a BBQ, our top tips for throwing a summer soir̩e are sure to help. Food Are you going to serve food at your party? If so it۪s probably best to decide sooner rather than later what you are providing. Sandwiches are always a safe bet, and you can serve them with an array of snacks to munch on all evening. If you۪re feeling more adventurous why not have a BBQ? Even if you don۪t own one, disposable BBQs are a low-cost way to enjoy delicious chargrilled meat. Meanwhile, save your salads from the summer heat by keeping them in large cookie jars. Be sure to check in advance how many guests are coming and if they have any dietary requirements, as the last thing you want to do is upset friends and stomachs. Drinks An afternoon tea party is a delightful way to entertain guests and really easy too. Head to your local charity shop and pick up some vintage-looking teaware Keep your guests cosy We all know how volatile British summer can be, so it is important to have supplies at the ready to keep your guests as comfortable as possible. Stock up on blankets for when it gets chilly in the evening and scatter pillows around for a cosy, quaint feel. It might even be worth investing in a gazebo or large parasol for those unpredictable summer showers. Keep your guests entertained Music and games are a brilliant way of putting on some good old-fashioned entertainment. Plan a playlist ahead of the party and get your friends to request their favourite tunes. Hundreds of great games can be found online as well as in garden stores. Amuse the whole family with some giant Jenga, hopscotch or swingball!

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The Great British Train Holiday

Posted on June 05, 2016

With the great Flying Scotsman riding the rails once more, the elegance and excitement of days gone by have returned to the stations and stockyards of Britain. Many people are looking back to the golden age of steam, a time when city dwellers were first able to travel our beautiful nationeasily and affordably. Today, with regular, fast trains up and down the country, holidaymakers have a great opportunity to take a break from their hometown to enjoy the countryside and culture of Britain. From the West Country to the North Yorkshire Moors, there are great train holidays to be had all over. Cheap train holidays Going on a train holiday from London can be cheap, easy and quick: something that can't be said for many other modes of transport. The trick is to book early and be savvy. Compare a few sites, look for the best off-peak times to go, and book eight to twelve weeks in advance for the best fares. For example, you can get from the hustle and bustle of London to God's own country in Yorkshire for less than thirty pounds return, and on up to Newcastle for just over double that. Or if your holiday plans lie in a more westerly direction, you can get to the beautiful, craggy coast of Cornwall for just under fifty pounds, or to the soulful, rolling valleys of Wales for around forty quid. Classic train holidays Britain is the home of the train, the rail holiday and the staycation. Starting withweekends in Brighton in the Victorian era, we moved on to weeks in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, Blackpool and Aberystwyth at the beginning of the twentieth century. Now, thanks to many careful conservationists and enthralling holiday ventures, we can relive those heady days. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is one such holiday option, allowing children, adults, holidaymakers and locomotive enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the golden age of steam. From the trains and carriages themselves to the stations and even the cafes, hotels and shops surrounding the railway, everything harks back to the glorious days of coal and chugga-chugga-choo-choo!Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, the Aberystwyth Hill Train has been offering people smooth rides and great views for over a century; a real piece of history in a remarkable town. New and exciting train holidays The most exhilaratingtrain holiday at the moment comes from almost a century ago, with the Flying Scotsman returning to the rails. On the move again for the first time in many years, this beautiful machineis offering trips that traverse the length and breadth of Britain. Trips to London If, like us, you live in Hull, you can travel direct to London for very little thanks to Hull Trains. With stops at Beverley, Brough, Howden, Selby, Doncaster, Retford, Grantham and Stevenage along the way, our local rail operator makesa visit to the capital easier than ever for people all over the UK, with free WiFi for the entire journey thrown in for good measure.

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The South West Coast Path

Posted on May 31, 2016

Have you ever watched Homeward Bound, The Hobbit or On the Road and wished you could set out on an equally epic journey? An emotional one with a story behind it? Well, the South West Coast Path might just prove to be your perfect expedition, especially if you are something of a sea lover. At 630 miles, it is the UK's longest National Trail. It۪s also one of its most interesting, with many tales to go with evidence of sunken ships, seals and sailors. The South West Coast Path has its roots in the patrols of coastguards looking for smugglers in days gone by. Those olde worlde smugglers were a cunning and opportunistic bunch likely to land anywhere they could, and the coastguards had the job of tracking them down, halting their trade and capturing the crew. This is why the path is so long, covering the entire coastline of South West England and sticking to the seashore, weaving in and out of bays, coves, estuaries and peninsulas. Beginning atMinehead in Somerset, it runs along thecoastline of Exmoor, across the coast of North Devon and into Cornwall. It then wraps around the entire coastline of Cornwall, crossing the mouth of the River Tamar and continuing back into Devon. After running along the south coast of Devon, it then follows the Dorset coastline before finally ending at Poole Harbour. Whether you're into birdlife, wildlife or sealife, geology, history or culture, there are hundreds of reasons to walk the path. Or, for those of us who aren't on a par with Bear Grylls, just enjoy whichever part of it you fancy. The history and rich culture on display along the path goes right back to the Bronze Age, when barrows were built atop the cliffs for the burial of great men and women in an epic setting. Fortresses and castles from the Iron Age through to the Second World War dot the route, defending the ramparts of Southern Britain through the ages. Even the path's origins are a manifest part of the area's history, with coastguard cottages and excise offices en route. The wildlife on display along the path is just as rich and varied as its history. In fact, the climate of South East England is so unique that many of the birds and animals on show here can't be found anywhere else in the UK. The enigmatic Peregrine Falcon has returned from near extinction to dominate the skies of Cornwall and Devon, visibly reinforcing its reputation as the world's fastest bird. Meanwhile, choughs and cirl buntings twitter in the fields of Devon, with seals, dolphins and even basking sharks occupying the water beneath. From Exmoor's brutally barren heights to the wild woods and buzzing fields of Devon, and on to Cornwall's beautiful bays and sub-tropical south coast, the path provides more variety and beauty than any great movie journey ever recorded.

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The Sun is Shining, the Weather is Sweet

Posted on May 21, 2016

Music is always a good companion on a warm day, whether you be sittin' in the morning sun or gazing on a Waterloo sunset. So here are a few of the brightest, shiniest and hottest songs ever written to fill your long, luxurious summer days, perfect for taking outdoors as you enjoy your Woodcraft UK furniture sets. Bob Marley Sun is Shining What better quote for the title of this list? "The sun is shining, the weather is sweet. Make you wanna move your dancing feet." Indeed it does, and thank you, Mr Marley, for giving us something so beautiful to move our feet to. Otis Redding (Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay He۪s one of the few people on Earth who could compete with Bob Marley for the dulcet tones and delicate lyrics that feel just like a sunny day. Otis Redding had more laid back but equally tempting ideas about what to do when the sun is shining. The Kinks Waterloo Sunset More smooth tones and dreamy lyrics make this another must-play song on a hot day. This one is a little more in line with the modern man and woman who can understand enjoying the sunset after swarming like flies 'round Waterloounderground۝. Crowded House Weather With You A good song that bears a useful lesson. "Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you" we couldn't have said it better ourselves, which is probably why Woodcraft UK isn۪t an internationally famous band. Red Hot Chilli Peppers The Zephyr Song These summer funk punk specialists know more about red-hot rock rhythm than a volcanologist with a stethoscope. It's hard to pick a standout song from their epic discography of sizzling singles, so we choseone about a pleasantbreeze that we can all relate to during summertime. Louis Armstrong On the Sunny Side of the Street Another rich, beautiful voice. "Grab your coat and get your hat, Leave your worries on the doorstep, Life can be so sweet,On the sunny side of the street." What a great invite! Get this song on your sound system and join Satchmo on the bright side. Mungo Jerry In the Summertime The ultimate chunk of seventies cheese. This loveable ditty about enjoying yourself in the sun has proved the downfall of many a tipsy barbeque goer. Katrina and the Waves Walking on Sunshine While we're on the subject of cheese and fun in the sun, Katrina and the Waves found time to feel good in 1985 with this ever-present summer hit. The Beach Boys Good Vibrations "I love the colourful clothes she wears, and the way the sunlight plays upon her hair." Okay, so it's a bit tenuous and this one isn't about the sun itself, but who can deny that those bright rhythms and harmonies belong in the summer sun? The Beatles Here Comes the Sun Summer is upon us, so lie back, relax and let the four boys from the land of the liver bird announce its arrival.

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From IT Theory to Hands-on Construction: A History of Woodcraft UK

Posted on May 13, 2016

Michael Davidson has run Woodcraft UK since its inception in 1990. Many people assume that Michael۪s previous career was along similar lines, or at least fitting vaguely within the furniture design or manufacturing sectors. In fact, the history of our company has its roots in something that couldn۪t be further removed: computer analysis. Back in the late 1980s, Michael was working on a contract that took him away from home. To keep himself busy, he decided to enrol on a woodwork course. The idea was that this would help him to switch off from his job for a while, but never would he have dreamed that it would result in a switch of career as well. Working with wood is fantastic,۝ explains Michael. It۪s so creative and satisfying, and you have total control over the outcome. That doesn۪t mean that it۪s easy though, far from it. The craft requires a huge amount of patience, dedication, precision and respect, not to mention a keen eye, strong memory and the ability to learn from your mistakes. With my skills increasing during the course and my tutor encouraging me all the way, it wasn۪t long before I choseto make a significant life change.۝ This is how Woodcraft UK was born, and over the last twenty-six years the company has grown and developed enormously. With the business model originally focusing on rocking horses, dolls۪ houses and other gifts and trinkets, it wasn۪t long before the company started revolving around wooden outdoor furniture due to its high demand. This development brought abouta new specialism, as memorial benches in particular very quickly became a popular product with local authorities, businesses, community groups, hotels and private households alike. With Woodcraft UK establishing itself as a manufacturer of traditionally constructed furniture of impeccable quality, consistency and design, its product range spread further and further across the nation, also crossing the Channel into mainland Europe. This popularity is partly due to the majority of Woodcraft UK۪s furniture solutions being constructed from Iroko, a substitute for teak that can withstand everything the world throws at it, from typical British weather and fungus, to insects and vandals. Ahardwearing and beautiful material, Woodcraft UKimport it from countries that maintainwell-managed forests, ensuring that sustainability comes as standard with each and every handcrafted creation. The passage of time has been accompanied byan impressive and ever-expanding portfolio of regular customers, ranging from countless local councils, to BT, the Royal Mail, Covent Garden and the National Railway Museum in York. As a result, Woodcraft UK benches and tables can be found complementing golf courses, public gardens, churchyards, business forecourts, Britain۪s coasts and even the Trans Pennine Trail, not to mention robust wooden bollards dotted from Hull to Liverpool and the Scottish Highlands to Land۪s End. The team here at Woodcraft UK shares my passion for superior wooden furniture infused with character and style," adds Michael. "Some of our benches are simple, others are more ornate, but all of them boastover a quarter of a century of history that makes them the very best on the market.۝ If you۪re interested in finding out more about our range of wooden outdoor furniture, get in touch on 01482 887921. Whilst very happy to recommend a range that will suit your needs down to the ground, we۪re also here to provide bespoke solutions in any shape or form. We love the potential of high quality wood, so if you need something very specific, we۪ll make it happen. That's the Woodcraft UK guarantee.

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BST: British Summer Traditions

Posted on May 11, 2016

Cricket, parks, tea and scones: these are just a few of the things that make the British summer seem so very, well, British. But when and how did these seasonal cornerstones of our culture originate? Cricket Of all the great British sports, cricket seems the oldest and most traditional, retaining many of the characteristics that have made it popular for such a long time. Believe it or not, cricket can be traced back to the early sixteenth century, when it was generally played by children on village greens and other common land. Over the next century it grew into an adult sport with more rigorous rules, and by the 1620s parish cricket had developed. Throughout the seventeenth century, cricket spread throughout South East England, becoming a professional game. Lords was opened in 1787, the first international match was played in 1844, and the County Championship began in 1890. The spread of cricket around the world along with the introduction of limited overs cricket, the One Day International and the very short Twenty20 format just about brings the game up to date. Parks Areas of land set aside for a little R&Rgo back almost to the beginnings of civilisation. However, the first places that could be compared to a modern park were the hunting parks that originated in England in the Middle Ages. These were generally private areas of land reserved and landscaped for the aristocracy to hunt deer, foxes and other animals for sport. They were a novel concept, in that they were designated, secured and legally protected specifically for the purpose of leisure, sport and relaxation, something which we stilllike to do in parks to this day. The first public parks were opened in towns and cities during the Industrial Revolution, providing a natural place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, not to mention the soot and smog. Tea and scones What came first, the tea or the scone? Well, in Britain it was almost certainly the scone, which originated in Scotland as the savoury girdle scone, baked over an open fire on a girdle (or griddle). Today, the sweetened English or British offering is more often known simply by the name scone۝ and the girdle scone is referred toas a bannock or farl. Whether you pronounce scone to rhyme with cone۝ or gone۝ remains a matter of upbringing, geographical origin and preference; either way, it goesvery nicely with a generous helping of cream and jam. Tea, on the other hand, originated in China, where legend has it that a great Emperor known as Shennong was drinking hot water when the leaf of a nearby shrub drifted into his cup. The resulting infusionenergised him and, being a great sage and master herbalist, he found that the temperature of the water brought out the tea's invigorating characteristics. This is a popular myth that is unlikely to represent the real origin of tea, as the Chinese traditionally accredited many of their great inventions to the emperors of the age. In fact, tea is known to have originated as a medicinal drink during the reign of the Shang dynasty in China. After importing the tea, the British began to grow it in India, which encouraged a less bitter and more wholesome taste that is still enjoyed here today, often with marmalade on toast.

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Supporting our Local Community

Posted on May 06, 2016

We love open areas, green spaces and anywhere that allows visitors to take a nice long walk. Community playing fields are an especially good example, so we۪re always on the lookout for ways to help them thrive. We do this by supporting the people who work hard to keep them friendly, welcoming and safe environments. Bilton,WytonandGanstead Memorial Playing Fields in East Yorkshire is a popular area for families, dog walkers and anyone wanting to get some fresh air whilst taking in truly peaceful surroundings. Run by a group of dedicated volunteers composed of adults and children from the community, the fields have seen vast improvements over recent months. With motivation, a positive attitude, hours of TLC and plenty of elbow grease, the fields۪ amenities have been tidied and promoted in equal measure, resulting in more people using them than ever before. A key part of Bilton,WytonandGanstead Memorial Playing Fields is the play park, which is much-loved by little ones from the local area.However, the park was lackingsomewhere for adults to rest whilst keeping an eye on their kids, so we decided to donate a unique product to the community group. Our Staxton bench is always in high demand, and in order to add even further reinforcement to its structure, we gave it a sturdy steel frame. Michael Davidson, owner of Woodcraft UK, decided to offer one of these new models for free: "Iwas very impressedwiththeeffortsthatresidents of Bilton, Wyton and Ganstead hadmade in terms of fundraising, putting onactivities, and managing the beautification of the playing fields. I wanted to help in this small way, and I'm very pleased to hear that the bench is used on a daily basis by visitors of all ages." This special style of benchhas inspired a new range of seating and street furniture, which we۪ll launch very soon. Perfect for parks, gardens and other public spaces, we anticipate that a lot of local authorities, tourism boards and community groups will find that it۪s their new favourite out of our many options. Michael added: "I strongly recommend that everyone visits Bilton, Wyton and Ganstead Memorial Playing Fields. The group has done such an amazing job at bringing the area back to life, so we should all make the most of it while the sun is still shining.۝ If you۪re interested in finding out more about our range of wooden outdoor furniture, please do get in touch. Give us a call on 01482 887921 and let us know the nitty-gritty of your project or setup. Rather than a blanket approach, we always like to know exactly what our customers need, offering bespoke advice and knowledgeable suggestions that will make a real difference. You can even keep up to date with what۪s going on at the Bilton, Wyton and Ganstead Village Hall and Memorial Playing Fields on their Facebook page. 20140923_121959

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Try Your Hand at Willowcraft

Posted on April 25, 2016

Willowcraft is natural and easy to learn, yet the things that can be made with it are often intricate and extraordinary. Using a few relatively simple techniques, willow, timber and coppiced trees can be turned into baskets, sculptures, garden structures and even shelters. Deciding what to build Projects of all sizes, shapes and skill levels are available to the open-minded willowcraft builder who isn't afraid to get their hands dirty. However, it's often best to start with a basic one, such as a basket or small sculpture if you are new to the craft. There۪s a range of books and online guides available too, which will take you through the general techniques required, as well as providing guidance on specific projects. So do a little research, consider your abilities and bear in mind how much space and material you have, then pick your project and prepare for it. There are also a lot of classes available around the UK where you can learn face-to-face and have your materials provided for you. Having the right tools A workman is only as good as his tools and, in the modern age, the same goes for a workwoman. Make sure that you consider what tools you will need for your chosen project and that all of them are in good condition. A wide range of willow-crafting tools are available and different types are needed for each project, but the basic necessities comprise of secateurs, craft knives, shaves and bodkins, which come in different sizes depending on the desired effect, plus planting tools for those working with live willows. Sourcing your materials As you may have guessed, the main material used in willowcraft is willow. This may include young and flexible branches, older and sturdier branches, or even trees grown from the ground. Other timbers and materials like hemp for tying are also occasionally used. All of these can be sourced from most large garden centres or from online delivery organisations. It is quite easy to find environmentally friendly, sustainably sourced materials, and most companies that operate in the mini-industry should be able to assure you of these factors. Learning the techniques Some of the techniques are as simple as splitting your willow branches in half, yet even this can be fiddly and result in a lot of discarded material. Bear in mind that most branches don't need to be thrown away, as they can be used for something or other. There are a range of structural techniques, such as slathing, and a number of weaving, pairing and decorative methods too. The project Once you have the appropriate tools, high quality materials and the right techniques, you are ready to start the project. Willowcraft, like any crafting, starts with preparation, including cutting branches to size, shearing off excess growth and preparing the ground if necessary. Most often, the structural stage of the project comes next, meaning that the main bits of the structure that will hold it in position and support weight are put together. Then, during the main crafting stage, the object takes shape, getting filled out with woven and tied willow until it is in its final, beautiful form. Sometimes a final finishing stage is needed, involving pruning or wood finishing depending on the project. Then your beautiful work is done! For ideas and inspiration, check out this Pinterest board.

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The Real Food Movement and Your Garden

Posted on April 15, 2016

People's love for growing their own food, their desire to save the environment and their suspicion of the processes that go into making our fruit and veg bright and bouncy have all gone into the Real Food Movement. Loosely put, the movement is a growing number of people who have decided to put down the fast food menus, pick up the trowels and grow, gather or just buy their own 'real food'. If you don۪t know what it۪s about, with a lot of people getting behind the movement, it's worth finding out what has interested them all. Gardening and growing instead of colouring and flavouring It's the return of the vegetable patch! Yours may have never gone away but, with preservatives in most foods and a fridge in every house, a lot have been replaced with convenience foods and... er... gnomes. Anyone who has owned a vegetable patch, or tasted the produce of one, will agree that you can't beat the flavour of homegrown greens. Fruit bushes and trees also can't be beaten for flavour. Even with just a few potted herbs in the kitchen the result can be meals with plenty of flavour and none of the flavourings. What better way to control your diet than to grow it from scratch? Save the planet one meal at a time Whether it's carrots grown in Poland or apples from China, the longer your food has to travel to get to your plate, the bigger its carbon footprint. That means that if your meals are coming right out of your back yard, or even from the farm a couple of miles away, they are saving the planet. Less mass production, transport and packing of food means less energy spent and less fuel burned. Real food doesn't mean expensive food There was a time when eating organically grown, locally sourced food was the preserve of the wealthy, but that time has gone. Today local farmers work hard to beat the competition from abroad, meaning good value and high quality food is on most people۪s doorsteps. Supermarkets too are trying to make quality local food affordable, and it may not be the ones you would imagine: Aldi lead the market in fresh, locally sourced produce and they're definitely not at the expensive end of the supermarket scale. Growing real food has also become cheaper and easier as materials have become more affordable and people have got more creative. A window box or rooftop can make a great vegetable patch for those with limited space, and things like seeds and tools can be bought cheaply from large gardening and DIY retailers. As for those lucky enough to have gardens, there۪s a real food making opportunity just waiting to be realised.

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British Summer Time Means Long evenings of... Whatever You Want

Posted on April 05, 2016

Gardeners, walkers, joggers and all sorts of outdoor types were enjoying an extra hour of the lovely long evenings of April for the hundredth time this year thanks to the centenary of British Summer Time. On the 26th of March 2016, the clocks went forward by an hour yet again, and yet again there were moans all round as the nation got up an hour earlier for work after Easter. On the other side of the coin, we've suddenly been blessed as we always are around this time of year, with long periods of sunshine available after work when we can get out and about. Alright, the sunshine can't be promised in a place like England but, as a band once said, "always take the weather with you." With this in mind, we recommend you enjoy the summer whether it's blazing sunshine or pouring rain. Whatever the forecast, there's always a way to enjoy the great outdoors, from gardening to camping. In case you need a little extra inspiration, here are a few ways you may not have considered to enjoy the great British summer. Bramble (blackberry) picking A fun and tasty summer pastime for little kids and big kids alike. What's more, even in this age of urban development and industrial expansion, nobody lives far from a good bramble hedge with a healthy stock of fruit. They can crop up almost anywhere, from back alleys to industrial wasteland. Just remember to leave your hoard in salt water for a few hours to disinfect them. Eat, cook or freeze them within a day or so and don't pick from anywhere low enough for a dog to reach with a cocked leg. You could even expand your foraging to other fruits, just be careful with health, safety and rules. Frisbee Okay, it's not the latest thing, but this summer sunshine activity has taken off again in recent years. Ultimate Frisbee (a crossover between rugby and netball, played with the colourful plastic disk) is now emerging as a great team sport and worth giving a go. Meanwhile, Frisbee golf is a much more relaxed way to enjoy the delights of the good ol' flying apparatus. Looking for something more traditional? Just have a few leisurely rounds with friends in the park, or take the dog for a game of catch. Take the inside outside This last one has a lot to do with 'the big thing' in garden design this year. That is, taking indoor experiences outside, which is sort of what you do when barbecuing or sitting around a chiminea anyway. Board games, workstations and fire pits are all part of the big outdoor movement that is set to grip the nation over the summer of 2016, so why not join in, weather permitting. The great outdoors is where it all started many, many years ago, so make the most of the small outdoors in a way that suits you.

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Make Your Garden a Wildlife Haven

Posted on March 29, 2016

The cities and suburbs of today can be a tough place for wildlife to thrive, but with the help of fauna-friendly families and friends, animals and birds can be encouraged to make the most of our gardens. Get a good old bird table The first suggestion in the list is probably the first thing on the mind of any wildlife-friendly garden owner. They're available from DIY and garden shops up and down the UK. The reward for having one of these easy to buy and easy to install garden fixtures is hours of twittery entertainment thanks to your new little feathered friends. Just buy bird seed or fat balls, pop them on your new table and go about your business secure in the knowledge that you've created a little haven for your local sky dwellers. Use wildlife-friendly weed killers and insecticides sparingly Every garden needs a little chemical support at one time or another, but many pesticides can unfortunately kill more than just the pests they are intended for. The wrong kind of chemicals can turn a garden from an animal sanctuary to a barren wildlife wasteland. To stop this from happening, it۪s important to only use them as and when needed. Additionally, environmentally friendly pesticides like garlic spray and hot pepper wax will keep pests away from your prized flowers without harming your garden's ecosystem. The way to an animal's heart is through its stomach It's true, sort of. If you really want to turn your garden into a suburban safari park, plant some food sources for your future tenants. Logically enough, wild flowers are great for wildlife, especially flowers native to this country: bramble, hawthorn, honeysuckle and ivy provide nectar, pollen, berries and cover to a wide range of animals, from insects and spiders to birds and small mammals. With some of these in the garden you'll have the basis for a small ecosystem. Of course, scattering the occasional stale bread loaf over the lawn doesn't hurt either. Make homes in your garden A birdbath will make a perfect complement to your bird table, but there are many more ways to make wild animals feel at home in your garden. Water features such as ponds, fountains and even bog gardens can be home to frogs, reptiles and fish, especially if there are plants in there to provide food and shelter. Specialised animal habitats such as birdhouses, bat boxes and even bug hotels can also be added to give animal life a head start in your back yard. Less obvious homes for animals include rockeries, shrubberies and log piles. Speaking of which, it's important to protect mammals and nesting birds from harm by going through and turning out bonfires before you set them alight. Following these guidelines, any garden can be turned into a miniature hundred-acre wood in no time.

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Gardening Tips for Spring

Posted on March 25, 2016

As the birds begin to twitter in the trees and grey skies start to give way to blue, the urge to get out in the garden is taking hold again. Follow our tips to make the most of the horticultural high season. Spring clean your garden Spring cleaning should never stop at your front and back door. Your garden can suffer from more clutter and mess in the winter than any part of your house. Make sure to thin dead foliage and remove dead or dying parts of any live areas. Don't forget to tidy the flowerbeds, rake the lawn and make way for the first mow of the new year. Now is the ideal time for weeding Early spring, after your garden's weeds have suffered the trials, tribulations and diebacks of winter, is the perfect time for weeding. Roots will be shallow and loose in the ground. With luck, the soil should be loose enough in the warming temperatures to allow you to pull the weeds out whole. Prune, prune, prune The difference between nice shrubs and great shrubs is pruning. Cut back perennial foliage and unwanted branches to tidy up your bushes and give them a real growth spurt as they head toward summer. Flowering bushes and fruit trees will also produce better crops after a season of good, timely pruning. Choose the right spring and summer plants to make your garden bloom Now is the time to buy and bury the bulbs and seeds of summer flowering plants like lilies, gladiolus and begonias. Spring plants like daffodils, lilies and crocuses can also be moved from their indoor pots to their long-term homes in the garden. However, make sure to follow the next tip. Protect delicate seedlings from heavy frosts Most gardeners can think of a time when they have planted a hyacinth or crocus too early and come to regret it. One heavy frost is all it takes to turn a fulsome flower into a lump of leaf litter. Plant as late as possible and keep some of the most delicate flowers in protected areas. If this is still not enough, get your seedlings covered up when cold nights are forecast. Fix your fences, feeders and trellises The cool, early spring provides the perfect opportunity for a bit of outdoor DIY on fresh mornings, with a lack of leafy shrubs to get in your way. Replace damaged areas, sand down splinters of wood that may catch someone out, and make sure that everything is clean and treated. Get composting As you clean your garden, prune back old growth and do many of the other little springtime gardening jobs; this will help you to accrue plenty of compost material. Get a pre-made compost bin or build your own out of treated wood and start producing the best kind of food for your plants. Plant your spring vegetables Peas, leaks and lettuces: a lot of the tastiest greens grow in early spring. Be sure to make the most of this time by planting your vegetable patch once the days start getting longer. When the weather really begins to warm, move onto the broccoli, new potatoes and onions for a full season of homegrown veggies.

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Fire Safety for Garden Parties

Posted on March 14, 2016

Barbeques, bonfires, outdoor candles and fireworks; garden parties can provide lots of fiery fun, as long as everything is done safely. Make sure that you don't get on the wrong side of the flames with these guidelines. When fire is involved, always plan ahead When is it going to be? Where is it going to be? Who will be responsible for it? How far is it away from the nearest flammable objects and fire safety equipment? These questions all need to be answered before the first logs or pieces of cooking equipment are brought out of the shed. Always be aware of the fire Someone must always be responsible for the fire. If the person in charge needs to go somewhere, make sure that they ask someone else to keep an eye on it. Be prepared to extinguish the flames Whoever is in charge of the fire must be ready to put it out if there is a problem. This can simply mean throwing a bucket of water but make sure that the extinguisher is matched to the type of fire. One bucket won't put out a bonfire, or a gas barbeque. In fact water can make some fires worse. Sometimes another kind of extinguisher is needed, such as foam or CO2. Hold fires in wide-open spaces Don't hold a fire next to a bush or under a flammable cover. That includes most porches and shelters, even if they're not built of wood. As well as the danger of setting the cover or bushes alight, smoke in an enclosed area can quickly suffocate. Also, keep fires away from roads and garden paths to stop drivers or guests from being blinded or having an accident. Bear in mind that even fires in chimineas can have flames coming out of the top, so keep branches away from the danger zone. Be careful what you put on the fire Fires can seem like handy ways to dispose of the odd piece of rubbish, but be careful what goes in the flames. Plastics, oil and some other types of waste can give off toxic fumes or spit dangerously. This applies especially to large bonfires where the effect will be the most serious. Animal welfare Remember what curiosity did to the cat and keep your pets on leads and/or indoors, especially if fireworks are involved. Loud bangs and bright flashes are not good for animals either. It may also be worth checking through pre-stacked bonfires for nesting animals. As well as being in harm۪s way themselves, they may run out of the lit fire and become a danger to people nearby. Food safety Barbeques and bonfires can mean beef burgers and roast potatoes, but they can also mean sickness and days in bed if food and equipment aren۪t kept safe. Cooking outdoors on a varying flame and often in the dark can create risks. Store everything on clean surfaces, make sure that food is cooked through, and keep your cooking area well lit. Don't drink and burn Whoever is responsible for the fire should remain sober. This rule speaks for itself. Have fun After all, it's good for your health.

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Your Garden Should Reflect Your Individuality

Posted on January 18, 2016

Over the years we've been asked for all kinds of wooden garden furniture that can't be found anywhere else. From the more general requirementssuch as a table with wheels, to benches with very specific dimensions and shapes so that they can fit into or around particular spaces: whatever it may be, we're always very happy to listen to what you need. Bespoke wooden furniture can make a huge difference to its environment. If it's for a private garden, it can create a sanctuary, a hideaway, a conversation starter or a place where everyone can come together to sharegood food and greatstories. If it's for a public space or abusiness, it can reflect the character of anything from a city to a park to a brand. That's the beauty of bespoke furniture, in that it truly is designed to your exact requirements. Many of our customers have ordered a bespoke piece of outdoor furniture, such as a memorial bench or gazebo, so that it fits into its surroundings both physically and aesthetically. However, they often find that as well as blending in, it also brings the entire place to life and gives it new meaning, such as transforming an attractive garden into a hub of social activity, or a corporate courtyard into the perfect place to holda meeting. Our benches, tables, pergolas and other wooden furniture productscan be found across the UK, taking pride of place as much along waterways and coastlines as they do in churchyards, public parksand private gardens. Our most popular creationsare the Beverley, York and Waveform ranges, yet even these beautifully designed pieces are sometimes too small or long for customers' needs, or perhaps even too straight in the instance of a curved or uneven space. If an existing range catches your eye, we could build a similar product to anydimensions provided. Alternatively, if you'd like something that's a guaranteed one-off, just let us know what you have in mind and we'll whip it up for you in no time at all for a fair price. We're ready and waiting to hear precisely what you need. Don't be afraid to ask for something incredibly exact or outlandishly odd, as we love a challenge and commit ourselves to giving you what you want. Finest quality craftsmanship and customer satisfaction are at the core of everything we do, so get in touch on01482 887921 or emailinfo@woodcraftuk.co.ukand let's turn your dreams into reality.

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*** EXTRA SPECIAL SUPER DOOPER OFFER ***

Posted on January 03, 2016

automatic-gate-operators Ex display stock. We need to clear space for new products next year. 5 BAR FIELD GATES WITH CURVED HEEL FOR (YES ONE POUND !!) EACH PLUS VAT. You can either collect at our workshop or we can organise delivery for you. (Delivery charges would apply). SIZES ARE:- 1) 1300 wide x 1200 high (to top bar). 2) 1190 wide x 1150 high (to top bar). 3) 900 wide x 1200 high (to top bar). ALL IN HARDWOOD AND UNUSED CONDITION. Just contact us on01482 887921. When they are gone they are gone. Please note the electronic gate opener pictured here (steel bracket) is not included however they are also on special offer on our website.

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Happy New Year!

Posted on January 01, 2016

On behalf of everyone at Woodcraft UK, Happy New Year for 2016! We're very excited about what the next year will bring, from new and returning customers, to continuingour second quarter-century of trading, having turned 25 a few short months ago. Our customer portfolio has grown substantially during this time, incorporating a range of local authorities, schools and independentbusinesses alongside community projects, creative institutions and private households across the UK. Though we don't want to toot our own horn, we're confident that people come to us for wooden garden furniturebecause of our longstanding reputation as a company committed to quality products, excellent customer service and fair prices. Thank you for supporting Woodcraft UK so far, and we hope that you will continue to come to us for all your outdoor furniture needs for years to come. 2016 is also an exciting year as it's the main run-up to Hull assuming its role as the UK City of Culture 2017. This "practice" year will see a huge variety of cultural activity, from homegrown theatre and music events, to festivals that focus on food, heritage, art, literature and, of course, freedom. Whilst supplying handcrafted products to John O'Groat's, Land's End and everywhere in-between, Hull is our hometown and we're very proud to see it assume its rightful place in the spotlight for a year. Another focus area for us is getting customer feedback on our wooden memorial benches and other outdoor furniture. If you can spare just one minute, we'd be extremely grateful if you could write areview on Google and/or Facebook, as this will help other people umming and ahhing to get real insight into specific products. Even just a few short words will be greatly appreciated and we'd like to thank you in advance for taking the time to give us a helping hand. Another way to give feedback is by postingcontent on our Facebook page and tagging us on Twitter, such as sharing photos and videos of you and your friends or customers putting our tables, chairs, pergolas, gazebos and benches to good use. Finally, we'd like to remind you that we offer bespoke furniture to suit any requirement and situation. Whether it's a smaller version of one of our popular lines, a bench that encircles a tree, a picnic tablewith wheels or a segmented dining set that can extendto accommodate large parties, just get in touch and let us know exactly what it is that you need. The quickest way to get in touch for enquiries is by calling us on 01482 887921 or emailing us atinfo@woodcraftuk.co.uk. We'll then get back to you as soon as possible with either a few questions or perhaps even a solution right away. With Woodcraft UK, anything is possible!

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Fun Facts About Hull Truck Theatre

Posted on December 23, 2015

Hull Truck Theatre are currently showing their enchanting and adventure-packed Christmas production of Sleeping Beauty, running for a total of fifty performances over December and January. Here are some facts about the production. - Volunteers have donated 322 pom poms and crocheted snowflakes to decorate the foyer. - Knitters and crocheters have made 33 seat covers for the main auditorium. - The Stage Management team learnt how to crochet for the show. They۪ve spent 120 hours creating a huge bed cover, a baby blanket, two crowns and a four-metre-long scarf. - The set has over 4,000 twinkling fairy lights. - There are over 150 specialist theatre lights in the lighting rig. - Nick Goode (Bad Nanna Sandra) will use four cans of glitter hairspray over the run. - Laurie Jamieson (Nanna NooNoo) has to re-dye his hair every four days. - It will take the Stage Management team a total of 16 hours to intricately plait Annabel Betts۪ (Princess Briar Rose) hair over the run. The team will use over: - 100 party poppers - 1,000 balloons - At least one pack of guitar strings - A total of 10kg of glitter for a secret moment at the end of each show Hull Truck Theatre۪s magical family production runs until Saturday 9 January 2016. To book tickets, call the Box Office on 01482 323638 or visit www.hulltruck.co.uk.

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Winter Birdwatching

Posted on December 20, 2015

Whether you're an avid ornithologist or wouldn't know a chaffinch from a lapwing, we highly recommend a bit of winter birdwatching. Therapeutic, rewardingand not without its challenges, winterbirding can take place anywhere at all, from fields and parks to your own back garden. You could even do it from behind a window whilst snuggled up with a blanket and hot chocolate, but that's nowhere near as much fun. We suggest you wrap up warm, packan umbrella, some sandwiches and a thermos and make the most of this beautiful time of year. Birdwatching is actually a little easier during winter, as not only is there very little foliage for creatures to hide behind, but birds tend to be a little more daring due to their food supply reducing duringthe colder months. You should easily be able to spot several species if you sit or stand somewhere quietly without disturbing them, and if you really want to see them up close you can take a pair of binoculars. There are plenty of resources out there, both printed and digital, that are ideal for discovering more about our flyingfriends. British Garden Birdsis a good one as it's very simple and highly visual, helping you to put names to feathery faces in an instant. If this is the first time you've gone birdwatching in winter, have a read through our tips below. Are yougoing birdwatching? We'd absolutely love to see your photos,so please do share them on our Facebook page and tag us on Twitter. Image credit: Wikipedia

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Enjoy some winter gardening

Posted on December 12, 2015

Many people think that winter is the time of year when you completely boycott the garden, yet this couldn't be further from the truth. The cold months are the perfect opportunityto get some exercise and fresh air by preparing the garden for spring, plus it will make everything look attractive even when it's not coated ina crisp blanket of snow. Prepare the soil When spring comes, the first thing you need to do is ready the soilfor planting. You can get cracking in December by removing weeds, turning over the top layer and adding compost so that it can work its magic over the coming months. Cut back the shrubbery There's bound to be a lot of dead leaves, overgrown areas and broken branches following a year full of weather and nature, so give the shrubs a good old trim. This will also make them look far more presentable and the perfect addition toa winter garden. Show the grass some TLC Have one last mow and check the grass for moss, dead patches and areas that need some attention. Add some weed and feed whilst it can still sink into the soil, allowing it to do its job before the frost takes over.
"Feed the birds, tuppence a bag" Not just birds, but all forms of wildlife. Whilst many will go into hibernation, it's a good idea to put out seed, fat balls, hedgehog food and so on. The birds also need a source of water, so set up a bird bath if possible. To prevent the water from freezing, add a floating ball. If the temperature really does plummet and it freezes around the ball, removing it will create a hole where the birds can drink. You can also help birds to create nests by throwing pet fur and even hair from your own brush into the garden. Pond life If you own a fish pond, place a tennis ball in it. This has the same function as the ball in the bird bath, as its gentle movement will slowthe formation of ice on the surface. If it does freeze over, removing the ball will create an air hole for the fish. Insect hotels Bugs do so much for our gardens, so give them somewhere safe and warm to live during the winter months (a pile of leaves in a cosycorner works wonders). The insectswill also provide a livefood supply for the birds. Have a good oldtidy Now that weeds and moss are growing far more slowly, give paved areas a scrub and a sweep to get them looking their best. If you have storage space, put away gardening equipment so that it doesn't blow away during windy periods. Enjoy your Woodcraft UK furniture Our benches, chairs and tables are built to impeccably high standards from quality materials, meaning that they're perfect during the cold monthsas well asthe other seasons. We highly recommend wrapping up warm and enjoying some winter soup or a warming mulled wine with friends. And if you really want to go all out, invest in a chiminea and some fairy lights. Perfection! Image: David on geograph

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Santa Special at The Deep

Posted on December 12, 2015

On selected dates in December, enjoy entry into The Deep including visiting Santa's grotto (and a small gift), a magical mystery tour on Hull's famous land train and free car parking for the price of standard entry! This fantastic deal is available on selected dates in December, with tickets starting at just.75 for a child and 1.75 for an adult. Family tickets are also available. Santa Specials will be running on the following dates: Visitwww.thedeep.digitickets.co.ukto book your tickets. Simply choose who you want to bring, your visit date and train time (10:15am, 11:15am, 12:15pm, 1:15pm, 2:15pm, 3:15pm and 4:15pm) it۪s that simple! Whilst at The Deep, children can also marvel at 3,500 fish, including spectacular sharks and rays, a colony of Gentoo penguins, take a walk through the viewing tunnel and a ride in the glass lift. Not forgetting a wide range of arts and crafts at Craft Corner, face painting and a festive trail. Then after your trip to The Deep, why not pop over to the City Centre for a spot of Christmas shopping whilst your car is parked with us. Terms and conditions -PRE-BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL viawww.thedeep.digitickets.co.ukONLY.Tickets cannot be bought on the day and places are subject to availability. This package cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount or with any other offer or discount including The Deep۪s Day Plus Pass Scheme.

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Zebra shark born at The Deep

Posted on December 01, 2015

We were delighted to hear that The Deep۪s first baby zebra shark recently hatched, weighing 67gms and measuring just 100mm. A number of eggs have been developing behind the scenes for the last sixmonths, so the team at The Deep are very excited to welcome this little creature into their world. Aquarist Tom Rowe, who has been looking after the zebra shark pups, tells us more: Sharks take many years to mature but we knew our female was ready to reproduce when she started laying empty practice۪ eggs. The eggs are quite large, around 12cm in length; after a while they started to contain yolks and we could see the embryos developing. It takes around six and ahalf months for them to fully develop before a shark pup emerges.۝ Just like humans, sometimes the juvenile passes its expected due۪ or hatch۪ date, and to ensure the pup is safe and doesn۪t run out of food The Deephelps them to hatch by opening up the egg case. Newly hatched zebra shark pups are black in colour with white stripes, hence their name. As they grow, their pattern and colour changes, leaving the adults with a yellow and brown leopard print pattern. It is really important that we take meticulous care of the new-born pups," added Tom. "After each shark hatches, we make a note of its weight and give it a full health check to ensure it is well developed. We continue to monitor feeding and growth from then on.۝ Zebra sharks are classed as vulnerable in the wild by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and threatened by habitat loss, bycatch and collection for shark fin soup. Aquarium breeding programmes have become even more essential for safeguarding the future of these animals.The Deep has been involved with the EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquariums) breeding programme for this species for a number of years.Previous pups hatched and reared at The Deep were from eggs from Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. These three males are all doing well and there are plans to introduce the one-year-olds into theLagoon of Light in the near future. If you haven't visited The Deep before, we strongly recommend putting a day aside for a proper day trip. Plus if you want to take the family, on selected dates in December you can enjoy entry into The Deep, a visit toSanta۪s grotto (including a small gift), a magical mystery tour on Hull۪s famous land train and free car parking for the price of standard entry.This fantastic deal is available on selected dates, with tickets starting at just.75 for a child and 1.75 for an adult. Family tickets are also available.Santa Specials will be running on the following dates:5,6,12,13, 18,19,20,21 and22 December.To book your special ticket and support this essential organisation, please visit www.thedeep.digitickets.co.uk. We absolutely love The Deep and think that everyone should experience it at least once. Make sure to check out what'son andgive them a followon Facebook and Twitter. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7paaFsW4Rtw[/embed]

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Hosting the perfect autumn/winter parties

Posted on November 15, 2015

Whilst some may think that outdoor wooden furniture is for the warmer months, we love it just as much ondark nights as we do during sunbathing season. Garden parties in autumn and winter can be amazing fun and really bring people together, so below we've sharedsome tips on organisingone to remember. We'd love to hear your tips and see your photos, so please do share them on our Facebook page and tag us on Twitter. Image: Wonderlane on Flickr

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The Beeb in Hull

Posted on November 01, 2015

Unless you've been hiding under a soundproof rock with no WiFi signal, you'll realise that Hull is the UK City of Culture for 2017. This means that the city will receive substantial support in terms of financial investment, PR coverage and media collaboration, helping itto show the world what it has to offer. With so much homegrown theatre, music, art, literature, dance and community activity, not to mention about twenty annual festivals,there's plenty to talk about, and the recent development with the BBC has given us the perfect platform. Speaking to an audience of 500 people at Hull Truck Theatre on Friday 23 October, Hull 2017 Chief Executive, Martin Green, and BBC Director General, Lord Hall, announced the beginning of a collaboration that will ensure Hull 2017 achievesglobal reach whilst providing a lasting legacy for the people of Hull. Lord Hall even went as far as to say: I want the BBC in Hull to be a powerhouse of creativity. I want us to work with Hull City of Culture 2017 to try new things, to push boundaries and take risks. We want to experiment, innovate and help talent in Hull find their voice." This is very encouraging news and adds very nicely to the Ferens Art Gallery hosting the 2017 edition of the Turner Prize, which will surely see thousands of additionalvisitors to the city. Whilst Hull has enjoyed a good BBC presence in recent months (Make It Digital had a large tent at the Freedom Festival and CBBC Live and Digital brought Queen Victoria Square to life for families this weekend), so far it has been a case of them coming to us. This is great and adds life to our already vibrant events calendar, but 2017 will also be about taking Hull to BBC audiences around the UK and possibly even beyond. The BBC۪s activities for Hull 2017 will include: As you've probably guessed, we're very excited about these developments and can't wait for our year in the spotlight. In the meantime, you can help tell the world by following Hull 2017 onFacebookandTwitterand sharing updates with your followers.

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Get knitting with the Truckers!

Posted on November 01, 2015

We're big fans of Hull Truck Theatre for creatinghomegrown productions and providinga platform for entertainment from across the UK, so when we heard that they're looking for an army of knitters we simplyhad to spread the word! The theatre on Ferensway is calling outfor knitters and crocheters of all abilities to help with their Christmas production of Sleeping Beauty, which runsfrom Friday 4 December until Saturday 9 January. There are many ways to get creative, from decorating the auditorium to helping out with costumes for the show. Even more exciting, theyneed a team to yarn bomb۪ 24 seats in the main auditorium, which is bound to get a lot of attention during its busiest time of the year. Volunteers can use a bright rainbow colour palette of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink and purple and let their imaginations run wild with the design. They can be stripy, spotty or covered in pompoms the crazier the better! Each seat cover needs to measure 110cm/43 inches long by 53cm/21 inches wide. Volunteers are also invitedto transform the lower foyer into a glittering winter wonderland. People of all ages can get involved by sending in pompoms or knitted baubles in a frosty colour palette whites, creams, greys or pale blues. The more experienced hand or machine knitters can see their work come to life on stage by helping the Wardrobe department with costumes for Sleeping Beauty. The Wardrobe team need a variety of knitted and crocheted items for the production, so it's a great opportunity to really get stuck in and help this Christmas production become even more magical. To get involved in any of these knitting projects, contact Vicki Taylor at vicki.taylor@hulltruck.co.uk. Seat covers and foyer decorations need to be sent in to Vicki Taylor, Hull Truck Theatre, 50 Ferensway, Hull, HU2 8LB by Friday 27 November with the knitter۪s name attached. If you'd rather take part in a way that will help you make new friends, Hull Truck are hosting Knit and Natter throughout November. These fun and informal sessions allow volunteers to share knitting ideas and get inspiration for their designs over a cuppa. Everyone is welcome, from beginners to expert knitters looking for a challenge. Tea and biscuits will be provided, so we suggest you pop it in your diary right away! Monday 9, 16 and 23 November: 10am 12pm Thursday 12, 19 and 26 November: 5pm 7pm Sleeping Beauty There's a party at the palace and you're all invited. Only, someone's been missed off the list and she's not very happy about it! Join our five magical Nannas as they spin the tale of Princess Briar Rose in this reawakening of a fairytale classic packed with music, song, dance and laughter. Has the King managed to destroy all the spinning wheels? Will the Prince be able to fight his way through the tangle of thorns? Or is the Princess set for a very long sleep? One thing's for sure - the Nannas know best and they're always in the mood for a party! From award-winning children's writer Mike Kenny and the team that brought you Cinderella, this is a visual feast for all the family. Sleeping Beauty Hull Truck Theatrel

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Why we love Yorkshire

Posted on October 23, 2015

Many of our wooden memorial benches are named after Yorkshire towns and cities, such as the Beverley, Yorkand Scarborough ranges. When asked why this is, there are two solid reasons: 1) Whilst distributing our top quality products across the UK, we're based in Hull and will always have our roots here. 2) It's the finest county going! Not convinced? Here are some examples of why we love Yorkshire and you should too.

We let you have pudding for your main course...

Aunt Bessie's

...spice up your chips (it originated in Hull)...

American Chip Spice

...and give you a proper brew to wash it all down.

Yorkshire Tea

Our men are thoroughly entertaining...

Patrick Stewart Sean BeanBrian BlessedChuckle Brothers

...our women are fiercely intelligent...

Bronte sisters

...and our dogs are simplyadorable.

Yorkshire Terrier

We gave the worldDisco 2000 (you know you love that song).

Pulp

And to top it all off, we do thiswhilst surrounded by beautiful, unspoilt countryside.

Yorkshire countryside

What do you love most about Yorkshire?

Share your favourite thingsabout this amazing countyon our Facebook and Twitter channels so we can all celebrate Yorkshire together!
Image credits Aunt Bessie's:auntbessies.co.uk American Chip Spice:facebook.com/American-Chip-Spice Yorkshire Tea:yorkshiretea.co.uk Patrick Stewart:weddingshoess.com Sean Bean:themightybean.com Brian Blessed:vadamagazine.com Chuckle Brothers:independent.co.uk Brontes:wikipedia.org Yorkshire Terrier: wikipedia.org Pulp:amazon.co.uk Countryside:woodlandsleeds.com

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Inspired by Yorkshire: The Knaresborough Bench

Posted on October 12, 2015

Knaresborough is an historic market town, spa town and civil parish located on the River Nidd in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire. It really is a breathtaking place, home to Knaresborough Castle and Mother Shipton۪s Cave, the area is brimming with history, heritage, tales and proper Yorkshire characters. In fact, we love Knaresborough so much that we named one of our wooden benches after it (no prizes for guessing which one). The Knaresborough Benchreally is a superb Woodcraft UK product. Attractive, sturdy and distinguished thanks to its elaborate and ornate design, this popular memorial bench impressively demonstrates the skills and talents of our experienced team, and serves as a perfect example of the craftsmanship and quality upon which the company has built its reputation.As well as elegant, the Knaresborough is incredibly sturdy due to its expert design, top quality materials and weather-resistant structure, making it an easy choice if you۪re umming and ahhing over which bench to choose.Part of our Inspired by Yorkshire range, which includes the Scarborough,Beverley andYork benches, the Knaresborough is ideally suited to leafy areas as much as it is to coastal spots. Whether you۪re ordering for a churchyard, hospital grounds, a commercial forecourt, your own back garden or multiple units to dot around a public park, you۪ll find that the comfort, style and durability of this outstanding seat will make you a very happy customer. If we had to pick our favourite setting for the Knaresborough Bench, it would probably have to be in front of a duck pond (seriously, stop laughing). It doesn۪t matter whether it۪s on the edge of a small village or in the centre of Leeds, sitting down on this extremely comfortable bench and watching the ducks pick up chunks of bread is incredibly relaxing. Having said that, you can۪t quite beat getting comfy and watching the North Sea waves slowly roll across the shingle and sand, with a bag of chips in your hand and a couple of deep fried doughnuts at the ready. Basically, wherever you decide to place a Knaresborough Bench, we guarantee you۪ll love it. As with all of our superb products, the Knaresborough comes with the options of commemorative plaques and engravings, alternative top rails and stainless steel fixings. This means that if you want your bench to tell a story, to look different from the one on our website, and to be completely theft-resistant, we have the solution. We۪re always here to answer any questions you may have and can offer suggestions on anything at all, whether it۪s the best way to pay tribute to a loved one or how to fix outdoor furniture to concrete and paving stones. Also, something that makes us giddy is when someone in Knaresborough orders a Knaresborough Bench. It just feels so right. If you would like to find out more about our unique products or simply tell us your favourite thing about Yorkshire, please get in touch through our Facebook, Twitter or contact form.

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Get ready for some autumn gardening

Posted on October 01, 2015

October has arrived and with it comes autumn, which to many is the most beautiful season of the year. Though the leaves fall from their branches, the sea of golden brown that they create in our gardens and alongstreets is something quite magical. Even the sounds of autumn are delightful, from the gentle rustling caused by a fresh breeze, to children crashing through mountains of orange and brown. Autumn also means that we need to change our gardening routine. Whilst we may miss the sun beating down on us, looking after the garden becomes a lot easier in many respects as the weather takes less of a toll on both greenery and skin. No more dehydration for plant and gardener, no more dry grass and sunburn, no more worrying that your strawberries are going to shrivelor your body is going to give up before you're done. Instead, autumn presents us with a welcomebalance of fine weather, intermittent rainfall, breathtaking colour and a final couple ofmonths of garden parties before the bone-deep chill sets in. There are a few thingswe need to do differently when gardening during autumn, so we've popped our top tips below to help you make the most of this attractive and calming season.

Changes tothe greenhouse

First off, remove anyshading. The days are shorter and the sunlight is less severe, so your plants need to soak up any rays they can get. Give everything a clean too, from scrubbing the glass with hot water, to removing dead flies andclearing the gutters. As well as making the place more pleasant, this will help to regulate the environment and prevent pests and bacteria from spreading.

Dig up the stragglers

Chances are you'll have some plants that need neatening up, a fewthat requirerepotting or repositioning, and others that can be removed entirely and added to the compost heap. Get them all sorted now and you'll have yourself the perfect autumn environment for relaxing.

Givethe lawnsome TLC

Hot summers and dry weather can leave the grass looking tired, patchy and untidy. This is the perfect opportunity to give it a trim, add clippings to the compost heap, remove moss using a rake or with a moss killer if there are large patches, and aerating heavily used areas by making holes in the ground with a garden fork every tencentimetres or so. It'salso a good time to scattertheweed and feed or even lay down some new turf, as it still has plenty of time to establish itselfbefore winter sets in.

Useup the compost

Once you've tidied up the greenhouse, lawn and peripherals, you'll have a lot of organic matter to add to the heap. Before you do, applythe existing compost to your garden to encourage rich growth, then start a new heap that can be usednext year.

Plant evergreens

A lot of thesummertime foliage will now be gone or on its way out, so addingsome evergreens will ensure that your garden remains attractive and welcoming even during the coldest months.

Protect the fish

If you have a pond, autumn is when it can become seriously clogged up with dead leaves. First give the pond a clean to your usual standards, then run a mesh over the top and secure it. Any materials that it collects over the next few months can then be easily removed and added to the compost heap.

Maintain garden equipment

Done with your tools for a while? Don't just putthem back in the shed or garage, give them a once-over first. Forks, rakes, brushes, lawnmowers, secateurs,, gloves, hoses and any other equipmentshould be cleaned, sharpened and/or checked for faults where applicable before being safely stored away over winter.

Share yoursanctuary

We'd love to see photos of your garden, so please do share them with usonFacebookandTwitter.

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Bakehouse Aerial capture Hull from above

Posted on September 23, 2015

Bakehouse Aerial were the first company in East Yorkshire to gain permission from the Civil Aviation Authority, allowing them to legally pilot drones for surveys and promotional content.Their three machines Roger, Millie and Bruce have worked across the UK for clients that range from power plants to parks and shopping centres to shipping companies. With the ability to carry up to 20kg of production equipment, the Bakehouse Aerial fleet maintains optimal levels of safety and manoeuvrability whilst keeping noise, costs and disruption to a minimum. The expertly edited content is then used to reinvigorate and expand PR and marketing materials for private companies, public organisations and production houses. Whilst working everywhere from Islington to Ilkley, Bakehouse Aerial are highly dedicated to capturing stunning shots of Hull and its environs from 400 feet in the air. The owners,Ben O'Leary and Cairn Emmerson, are as skilled in art direction as they are in piloting, so every image drawsthe eye into its detailas if it were part of aWhere's Wally? collection. Below is a selection of photos that range from Hull Marina and The Deep, to Pearson Park, The Avenues and Oak Road Playing Fields, each demonstrating just how beautiful, green and inviting Hull can be. Click the imagesto zoom in. To see more, we recommend youfollow Bakehouse Aerial on Facebook and Twitter. Aerial photography Hull and East Yorkshire Aerial photography Hull and East Yorkshire Aerial photography Hull and East Yorkshire Aerial photography Hull and East Yorkshire Aerial photography Hull and East Yorkshire Aerial photography Hull and East Yorkshire

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A walk along the Humber

Posted on September 12, 2015

If you take a walk along Hessle Foreshore, you may spot a few things: the Massey Ferguson tractor transporting an inshore rescue boat to or from the river; an old wooden vessel striped in fading white and baby blue, surrounded by knee-high grass outside a row of houses; or a family of beautiful avocets leaving a trail of prints as they pick insects from the estuary۪s soft mud banks. On a far more personal level, you۪re also bound to notice a range of benches offering warm tributes to those who spent their days working, walking and wandering along the mighty Humber. An engraved wooden memorial bench truly is the gift that keeps on giving. When purchased for a public area, you۪re providing a place for hikers to take a breather, families to pause for a sandwich, dog walkers to sit and catch up on the local gossip, and generations of strangers to enjoy a few moments of quiet contemplation. We supply wooden benches across the UK, so first you should contact your local council or the landowner to find out about theinstalling processand places that are available or off limits. Once you۪ve come to an agreement, you can then get in touch with Woodcraft UK and tell us exactly what it is you require. All of our wooden memorial benches can be adorned with plaques, which come in a range of finishes, or have a message engraveddirectly into the wood۪s surface. Due to the high quality materials and expert craftsmanship, the bench will take anything the world throws at it, from heavy usage to torrential rain, gale force winds and the iciest of winters. We also provide robust fixings for grass, soil, tarmac, concrete and paving stones, so you can rest assured that it will remain safely secured in place for many years to come. As for the message itself, that۪s completely up to you. Many benches offer a brief dedication, such as a name and nothing more. Others give the individual۪s lifespan and perhaps a reason for placing the bench where it is, such as in memory of their love of trekkingthrough forests, relaxing on the beach or watching the sun set behind the hills. Some will even give a short biography or share a favourite quote with anyone who happens to passby. Whatever you require, let us know and we۪re sure we۪ll be able to accommodate it. Exploring the great outdoors is fantastic and sharing it with loved ones is priceless; even better is to also think about those who did so before you, and the countless numbers yet to experience it even after you yourself are gone. So the next time you spya bench down a country lane, in a wooded area or beside a waterway, take a minute to see if it displaysan inscription. If it does,you may findthat subsequent visits have even more depth and value. For more information about wooden memorial benches, plaques and engravings, please do get in touch on 01482 887921 or fill in our enquiry form.

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The Mendip Memorial Bench

Posted on September 01, 2015

With summer in full swing, people's diaries are filledwith garden parties, barbecues, festivals, bike rides, seaside trips, group walks and days out with the family. It۪s also the time of year when we at Woodcraft UK areparticularly busy, with customers as diverse as local authorities, hospitals, schools and private individuals placing orders for our beautiful, handcrafted furniture. One of themost popular products at the moment is the Mendip memorial bench, which we believe to bean especially impressivecreation. Robust, weather-resistant and perfect for all environments, it۪s also a highly attractive piece of furniture thanks to its gentle curves juxtaposed against strong, straight lines. You may well have seen a Mendip memorial bench during a countryside walk or whilst strolling through your town centre, as we۪ve shipped units all across the UK. Available in options that are four feet wide to double that length, the stylish and sturdy expertly designed seat can accommodate quite a few bums, making it ideal for practically any space, no matter how large or small. As with all of our products, the Mendip memorial bench can be enhanced through a range of options, including alternative top rails, fixings and security. The most popular additional feature is a plaque or engraving, for which Woodcraft UK is widely celebrated and respected. Whilst plaques come in bronze aluminium, polished bronze, silver and gold finishes, adding an element of sophistication and context, an engraving can take any form you wish. As for the message, it۪s entirely up to you; tributes and memorials are often chosen, but we۪ve had a few customers ask for their favourite quote, song lyrics or personal mantra to be added. Whatever you need, simply let us know and we۪ll eternalise it. Despite summer being the busiest season, our delivery time and pre- and post-salesservice remain the same as during the rest of the year. This is because we hold the customer experience in the highest regard and want to make you happy, so if there۪s anything unique that you need, please don۪t hesitate to ask. Whatever you order, you can rest assured that it has been designed and created by a dedicated craftsman using ethically sourced products and to a strict code of operations, not to mention an advanced aesthetic standard. If you۪d like to find out more about our unique products or have a query, please get in touch through our Facebook, Twitter or contact form. We۪d also love to see your own memorial benchesin action, so please do share your photos with us on our social media channels.

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Unique furniture for public spaces

Posted on August 25, 2015

We like to think that we understand our customers. Whether you۪re buying for your own private garden or for a public park, we۪re here to offer advice and a variety of options, as well as listen to exactly what you need, even if it۪s never been done before. So if you require a piece of outdoor wooden furniture that۪s incredibly specific and can۪t be found in the shops or online, look no further than Woodcraft UK. Bespoke wooden furniture is becoming increasingly popular as people realise that they don۪t have to settle for anything less than the perfect solution. Just because our York and Beverley ranges are incredibly popular, it doesn۪t mean they۪re right for you. Maybe you have a compact area that won۪t accommodate a regular sized bench, or you want a one-piece seating area that curves around a pond, or perhaps you have something totally unique in mind that will reflect the style of your business or organisation. Whatever you need, we۪re here to turn it into a reality. We also believe that individuality is very important. Whilst our numerous ranges are beautifully designed and ideal for all kinds of environments, it۪s absolutely understandable if you۪d prefer to have an item of outdoor furniture that is distinct and a treat for the eye. From expressing yourself and showing off your creativity, to commissioning a bench that will optimise access and enjoyment for its users, a piece of furniture should always fulfil everything required of it. You could work for a local council, a church, a university or school, a tourism board, a hospital, an office complex or a warehouse: if you need a bench, we۪re here to supply you with one that suits your measurements, specific needs and tastes to a tee. As with all of our other luxury outdoor furniture, your bespoke memorial bench or picnic table can be designed in hardwood iroko, African teak or English oak, all of which are robust, weather-resistant, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Then there are the usual add-ons, such as engravings and plaques, which can pay tribute to a loved one, eternalise an event, or simply share a favourite quote, saying or joke. You could also have the bench secured to the ground, be it grass, soil, tarmac, concrete or paving stones. It really is up to you, so have a good think about what would work best because there۪s no limit to what we can supply. Get in touch today and tell us exactly what you need, and we۪ll deliver exactly that. And don۪t be afraid to ask for one of our current styles, such as Waveform, but with a few tweaks here and there your satisfaction is paramount and we۪re all ears!

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Larkin Toads Revisited

Posted on August 09, 2015

Philip Larkin is surely best known for his notable works The Whitsun Weddings and High Windows, among many others. Though originally from Coventry, it was during his thirty years working as librarian in the University of Hull۪s Brynmor Jones Library that he produced the majority of his published oeuvre. Larkin was also a jazz critic, novelist and overall moody fellow, but it is his poetry that makes him one of the twentieth century۪s most celebrated writers. Back in 2010, Hull commemorated a quarter of a century since the passing of its adopted poet with Larkin 25. This cultural festival included literary talks, art and photography showcases, walking tours, musical events, an exhibition of Larkinmemorabilia, and the release of a compilation of his favourite jazz recordings. Meanwhile, SirTom Courtenayvisited Hull University to perform a one-man play,Larkin Revisited, and SirAndrew Motion named a Hull bus Philip Larkin۝in the poet۪s honour.Quite a variety of activity, but what most people remember most vividly are the toads. The centrepiece of the festival was a public art display and trail, Larkin with Toads, consisting of forty fibreglass toad sculptures. Each was painted with a unique design created by artists and local people, taking inspiration from Larkin's poems about working life,ToadsandToads Revisited. These designs included everything from Eastwest Toad (painted in Hull FC colours on one side and Hull KR colours on the other, with the River Hull separating them), to Patty in a Breadcake Toad, giving a nod to our city۪s favourite snack. After months of bringing smiles to faces across the city, the toads were auctioned off for charity. Whilst the odd few remained in public spaces, the majority were hidden awayfor years until now. In celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of Larkin۪s death, some of the much-loved amphibians are reappearing around the city, such as Waterstones on Jameson Street, the Museums Quarter, and inside all three shopping centres. Even more exciting is the special commission for 2015, which takes the form of a floating toad the size of a double-decker bus, sporting a beautiful pattern designed by seven-year-old Janette Dimitrova. We managed to snap this airborne creature whilst it was bobbing above Queens Gardens on Saturday, and we۪re sure you۪ll agree it really adds a variety of colour to that beautiful blue sky. Everyone at Woodcraft UK loves the toads and what they represent, but even more important is what they have achieved. In the first two weeks of the 2010 project, more than 30,000 people requested a trail guide; the city received very welcome national PR coverage;and even the selling of the toads had a huge positive effect, with 9,500 raised for the Lord Mayor's charities, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and various arts funds. We۪d like to congratulate everyone involved in the Larkin Toads projects and highly recommend you follow Toads Revisited on Facebook and Twitter. Ribbit!

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Bespoke furniture for every requirement

Posted on August 07, 2015

Over the last twenty-five years, Woodcraft UK has created a range of popular products that have been used across the UK. From local authorities to private customers, from parks and seashores to gardens and secret sanctuaries, we۪ve supplied memorial benches, tables, gazebos, pergolas and all manner of other handmade wooden furniture to practically every county and for every kind of use you can imagine. Some of our ranges have proven so popular that they۪ve become iconic of Woodcraft UK, such as the Scarborough and Waveform lines of furniture. Others have come and gone, and perhaps they۪ll return one day when current tastes have realigned with their styles. And then we have bespoke wooden benches, which is where uniqueness and customisation are taken to a whole new level. Whilst the majority of our products come in different sizes and with a range of options, some people۪s outdoor spaces are particularly small, narrow or strangely shaped. When this is the case, bespoke wooden benches are a godsend, giving you the opportunity to have a beautiful, high quality and robust one-off item created to your precise requirements, measurements and taste. Examples of when bespoke benches come in especially handy are compact gardens, restricted access to a space, the preference for furniture to work around features instead of vice versa, or simply the desire to own a totally original and distinctive item, which can prove a real eye-catcher and conversation starter. This is how Woodcraft UK has developed a high level of versatility over the years, working to our customers۪ needs rather than trying to sell them a product that won۪t quite work in its surroundings. As with all of our other luxury outdoor furniture, your bespoke memorial bench or picnic table can be designed in hardwood iroko, African teak or English oak, all of which are sturdy, weather-resistant, comfortable and aesthetically designed to look absolutely fantastic. Perhaps you need a bench that squeezes into a tight spot, fits into or around a corner, circles a tree or curves with a path. Maybe you have precise design elements in mind, even if it۪s something you۪ve never seen before. It could be elaborate and artistic or simple and practical, or even a combination of all four if you have something really interesting in mind; simply tell us what you need and we۪ll turn it into a reality. Then there are the usual add-ons, such as engravings and plaques, which can pay tribute to a loved one, eternalise an event, or simply share a favourite quote, saying or joke. You could also have the bench secured to the ground, be it grass, soil, tarmac, concrete or paving stones. It really is up to you, so have a good think about what would work best because there۪s no limit to what we can supply. Woodcraft UK۪s creative and technical expertise is matched by our emphasis on customer satisfaction. Every order regardless of size receives the same high standard of individual attention. Get in touch today and let۪s have a chat about what we can create together.

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Tips for an enjoyable summer

Posted on July 21, 2015

We۪re confident that we can now declare the good weather is here to stay for a couple of months or so. This means that millions of people across the UK will be making the most of the great outdoors in a variety of ways, from day trips to the beach and footie matches in the park, to relaxing on a wooden bench with a good book. In order to make this summer one to remember, here are some of our top tips. Keep cool during heat waves We realise that it۪s tempting to get as much sunshine and warmth as possible while it lasts, but this can quickly and suddenly lead to sunburn and heatstroke. This can be particularly nasty and, in extreme cases, damage the skin in a serious way on a long-term basis. To stay safe, make sure to use sun lotion before going out, spend time in the shade as well as the sunny areas, come inside after a reasonable time, and stay cool afterwards. Taking a shower and turning on the air conditioning can work wonders, and use after-sun to soothe the skin following your session outside. Keep the bugs at bay Whilst flies can be irritating, mosquitos can spread disease. Use insect repellent, citronella outdoor candles and fly strips. However, try to avoid killing bees, wasps and hornets, as they can call۝ for help using pheromones, plus bees are essential to the global ecosystem. Organic fruit and veg Do you grow your own tomatoes, strawberries, beans, coriander or any other kind of produce or herb? Summer is a time for fresh snacks and ingredients, whether it۪s a case of eating an apple straight from the branch or creating a meal using potatoes, mushrooms and parsley from the garden. We also recommend using your harvest at barbecues, such as pepper kebabs and fresh mint leaves in your drinks. Delicious! Catch up on your reading Many people find it difficult to become truly absorbed in a good read due to lack of time. Summer is the perfect opportunity to rectify this, as warm days deserve a little relaxation and there are plenty of good offers in bookshops during the sunny months. Meetold friends and make new ones Use this beautiful time of year to the full by inviting people round for a garden party. With the right outdoor furniture, you can make everyone feel very welcome and comfortable. We recommend garden tables and handcrafted wooden chairs, plus you can۪t go wrong with a chimenea for sitting around when it gets dark and toasting a few marshmallows over. If you۪d like to find out more about our beautiful wooden products or have a query, please get in touch through our contact form. Plus we۪d love to see photos of your own Great British summer, so please do share your photos with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Image: Steven Depolo

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Garden tables perfect for the summer months

Posted on July 11, 2015

Woodcraft UK garden tables and wooden chairs are handcrafted to the same impeccable standards as our memorial benches, pergolas and gazebos. Practical, stylish, durable and great for all occasions, our eye-catching furniture ranges are created using only the finest hardwoods, including teak, oak and iroko. Ideal for National Trust and English Heritage sites, our outdoor furniture is also chosen by homeowners across the UK. Designed to make outdoor dining and relaxation as accessible and enjoyable as possible, we have a number of sets that have proven popular over the years. Starting with our Standard dining table, the slatted design prevents water retention whilst preserving the appearance of the timber, making it a great platform for an impromptu picnic or more elaborate al fresco meal. This goes particularly well with a classically styled York Chair or two, which can come with or without armrests. Then we have the Waveform dining table, which truly is a beauty with its smooth, gentle curves and option of a parasol hole at no extra cost. Spot on for all kinds of uses, the Waveform is often chosen as a picnic table or a patio table to go with a set of Waveform chairs. The Wetherby dining table is something else entirely. At up to 2.4 metres long, its oval design is both accommodating and elegant, easily seating six people with legroom to spare. Large families tend to choose this product, yet it۪s also a favourite with pubs, recreational facilities, and landlords who want to treat their student tenants. And finally, the Driffield Picnic Suite is named after the East Yorkshire market town that boasts a multitude of attractive spots for sitting down with sandwiches and buns. Heavy-duty and of especially sturdy construction, this picnic table is designed to withstand the British seasons, multiple users and less than delicate youngsters. Often chosen for lakeside areas, caravan parks and other busy public areas, it۪s also been ordered by individuals and families who love eating outdoors in their back garden. It can even be supplied with brackets for securing to the ground, so let us know if you need your Driffield Picnic Table to stand up to an especially frenetic environment. If you۪d like to find out more about our beautiful wooden products or have a query, please get in touch through our contact form. Plus we۪d love to see photos of your outdoor dining and summer garden activities, so please do share your photos with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Outdoor lifestyle vs. hay fever

Posted on July 01, 2015

As you probably realise already, we absolutely love being outdoors. Sitting on a handcrafted wooden bench with the sun shining, flowers in bloom and birds tweeting like crazy is like a personal slice of heaven. However, for those of us who suffer from hay fever, the summer months can prove more of an itchy nightmare than a golden dream. We hate to think that our customers aren۪t getting the most out of their garden furniture, so here are some tips for keeping the sniffles to a minimum, leaving you to lap up some rays and enjoy a Pimm۪s or two. Block out the baddies Hay fever is caused by pollens and allergens, which are minuscule substances that cause adverse reactions in those who are prone. By applying an effective allergen barrier balm, gel or spray around the edge of each nostril, you can effectively block these tiny bad guys from getting up your sniffer. Flush it out Despite being small, pollens and allergens are still very much physical objects. Therefore, a saline nasal wash can be used to remove them from your nostrils and sinuses. Protect the eyes Wraparound sunglasses are pretty effective at shielding the eye area from pollen and allergens. This can have a significant positive impact and save you a lot of soreness and rubbing. Style up A baseball cap or large-brimmed hat can also be used to keep foreign bodies from entering the eye area, doubling as a precaution against sunstroke. Wash regularly and dry indoors When you return inside, take a shower and wash your hair to remove pollen from your person. Washing your clothes is also recommended, and drying indoors will prevent them from becoming infiltrated by allergens before their next wearing. Be firm with the pooch and kitty If you have pets that go outdoors, try to keep them from licking or rubbing against your face. Their fur will most likely be covered in pollen, so if possible give it a wipe with a damp cloth when they come back inside for the day. Have a break from gardening Even if the grass needs cutting and the fence requires another coat of paint, this will only aggravate your hay fever. We suggest you either give the chores a miss until the pollen count is lower or get someone else to do them as a favour. If you absolutely have to do the gardening, wear a facemask, which can be purchased for very little from most DIY stores. Defend the house Keep the windows closed if you can, especially in the early mornings when the pollen is being released, and in the evenings when it۪s settling toward the ground. You can also invest in an air filter, which will go a long way to keeping the air indoors clean and allergen-free. Enjoy your garden furniture From benches and tables to pergolas and gazebos, we۪d love for you to share your experiences of Woodcraft UK products on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Image: tdlucas5000

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Organising a litter-picking event

Posted on May 15, 2015

Litter-picking events are an excellent way to empower communities and tidy up neighbourhoods. How they work is very simple: people meet up at a set time and are given tools for gathering rubbish, which they do until a set end time or for as long as they۪re able. These events are becoming increasingly popular, and here at Woodcraft UK we۪re big fans of making outdoor spaces more attractive and welcoming for all. To help, we۪ve put together some tips for a successful litter-picking session. By following this checklist, you can ensure that no one is injured by sharp materials or accidentally trespasses on private land. If you organise or take part in one of these events, please get in touch with us through Facebook or Twitter and we۪ll share your story with our followers. If you want to further improve the appearance and friendliness of your area, your group could club together for a hardwood planter or wooden memorial bench. Make sure to gain permission from your local council or relevant authority beforehand, and perhaps create a maintenance rota to keep it looking tip-top.

Organising a litter-picking event

  1. Carry out a risk assessment beforehand. Are there any places where people may slip or fall, snag themselves on something sharp, or is there hazardous waste that needs to be professionally removed first?
  2. Do you have legal access to the land? If you want to pick rubbish from people۪s gardens and areas such as farms, make sure to get permission first.
  3. If you۪re hosting a large event, make a simple map and print copies for attendees so that they know where amenities are, such as toilets, refreshments and so on.
  4. When will it be held? Weekends usually work best, especially Sundays as more people are available and there۪s less traffic. Plus it۪s a positive and feel-good event for people to take part in before the working week begins.
  5. Spread the word! Whether that۪s by knocking on doors, distributing leaflets and posters, or talking through the local press, radio and social media, we۪re sure that plenty of people will want to be involved. They don۪t necessarily have to be from your neighbourhood, and many students will want to lend a hand too.
  6. What equipment do you need? Gloves and heavy duty bin bags are a must, and you might require wheelbarrows too. High-visibility vests are also handy. Contact your local council to see if they can help by providing litter-picking gadgets. You may even be able to get a free skip from a company that wants to help the community if you think the job warrants one. In return for some publicity and their logo on a flyer, a local hardware store or supermarket may even give you free bin bags and other useful items.
  7. On the day, make sure that all volunteers know what to do. It۪s not rocket science, but the clearer the communication, the more efficient the event.
  8. Volunteers must be careful not to disturb or damage natural habitats. Birds, butterflies, hedgehogs, cats you never know what might be hiding in tall grass, trees or bushes.
  9. Try to get some media coverage out of it. Even if you۪ve already been in the paper or on the radio to promote it, chances are they۪ll run a follow-up piece. This could go a long way to inspiring others to organise their own litter-picking event.
  10. Most importantly, make sure that everyone has lots of fun and keep in touch with them for future events.

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Summer composting

Posted on May 05, 2015

Around half of our kitchen waste is organic. Bread crusts, mouldy cheese, plate scrapings, banana peels, coffee grinds and any other foodstuff that we throw away for whatever reason will be sent to landfill if we don۪t put it to a far better use. By getting into the rewarding routine of composting, you can help everything from your own garden to allotments and council-run parks to blossom and thrive. Composting is very easy to do. Most local authorities provide a food caddy to go with your garden waste bin; anything organic can go inside this, even bones and used tea bags. If you don۪t have a garden or have no need for compost, simply add all unwanted organic materials to the caddy, emptying into the larger bin on a regular basis. If you can use compost yourself, we recommend investing in a compost bin for the garden. This will allow you to achieve zero organic wastage and lower the council۪s carbon footprint, all while giving your shrubs and flower beds a rich, natural source of nutrients. Most compost bins are bottomless, allowing you to place them directly onto soil or grass. Worms, insects, bacteria and fungi break the materials down into a soil-like substance, which when ready is your homemade compost. A bottomless bin also lets moisture drain away as required. If the bin has a bottom, it can be placed anywhere you wish, although in all cases we recommend close enough for easy access but not right next to any household doors or windows. In terms of requirements, fresh air should be introduced to the bin every few weeks simply by gently agitating the contents. Moisture is also required, but this works its way in naturally when you add fresh grass and kitchen waste. If the compost seems to be getting dry, sprinkling water into the bin and agitating a little will encourage even distribution. Aside from that, all it needs is the organic matter itself, so add cooked and raw food, dairy products, diseased plants and even pet faeces whenever you need to. Compost bins need a combination of wet and dry materials. Food and grass clippings are wet, so placing shredded newspaper between layers will break it up a little. If flies appear, adding a thin layer of soil over the top will discourage them. If your compost heap is new, the contents need to be left for a year before harvesting and should only be used when fully decomposed. Now that you know how to compost, perhaps it۪s time you invested in a Woodcraft UK hardwood planter, the perfect focal point for private gardens that will greatly benefit from homemade mulch.

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Edible landscaping

Posted on May 01, 2015

At Woodcraft UK we۪re all about outdoor environments. Whether it۪s a communal park, the coast, a countryside picnic area, a bustling city centre or your own back garden, getting outside for a few hours or even for just ten minutes over lunch can do wonders for your wellbeing. This mindset has been going through a revival for a number of years, with more and more people embracing gardening and green community projects. A particularly interesting example is edible landscaping, which is the planting of food-producing plants in residential areas. It includes fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, vegetables, herbs,edibleflowers and other ornamental plants, encouraging residents, community groups, schools, businesses and the general public to get involved. In 2014, Hull City Council turned over one of their planting areas for the growing of edible produce. The garden has been used to grow beans, ruby chard and kohl rabi between Queens Gardens and Alfred Gelder Street, a busy area of the city centre. It۪s the first of its kind in Hull, but other cities have been working on the concept for years. The Todmorden Incredible Edible project was founded by Mary Clear, a former Hull University student who later moved to West Yorkshire. Deciding to turn her own garden into a mini allotment, giving away what she grew to the community, there are now over seventy sites across the Calderdale market town where fruit and veg is grown, including the railway station and the main police station. The primary mission behind edible landscaping is to increase awareness and actual levels of self-sustaining communities. It educates people in the importance of growing your own food, while making neighbourhoods more attractive and strengthening communities. Another example is Feed Leeds, a network of over fifty individuals and organisations working to promote and support food growing in the city for its economic, social, environmental and health benefits, based across allotments, schools, community plots, parks, city farms and gardens. One of its goals is to encourage gardening in front of your house as well as at the back, thereby gaining the attention and interest of passers-by who may then be inspired to do the same. Something that۪s usually present at all of these sites is a little outdoor furniture, especially wooden memorial benches, as you can۪t beat sitting back with a well-earned drink and admiring what you۪ve achieved. If you start or join an edible landscaping project, we۪d love to hear all about it. From windowsill herb gardens to an old football pitch transformed into a field of carrots, get in touch with us through Facebook or Twitter and we۪ll share your story with our followers.

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How does your garden grow?

Posted on April 15, 2015

Woodcraft UK is well known for its wooden memorial bench ranges, but we also handcraft a variety of other garden furniture and outdoor features. One of our favourites is the wooden pergola, which adds a little magic and romance to otherwise everyday surroundings. A pergola is a wooden walkway fixed into the ground, often spanning the length of a garden or green area. In itself the pergola looks attractive and tranquil, but once the flowers begin to bloom and take over its frame, it becomes a breathtaking display of natural beauty. Whether you cultivate yours with red roses or surround it with wildflowers, allow it to become a home for daring ivy or perfectly prune eye-catching clematis up and down its walls, you۪ll find a pergola the best investment you۪ve ever made. Many customers tell us that their pergolas are the focal point of their gardens, attracting young lovers stealing a kiss, elderly couples sharing a memory, sleepy teens in need of shade and energetic children seeking their next adventure. All you need to do is tell us what will work best for you, then we۪ll design it specifically for your garden to develop into an archway of outstanding floral beauty. Made from quality oak, iroko or hardwood, our pergolas are as sturdy, weather-resistant and expertly crafted as the rest of the Woodcraft UK range. Having first achieved popularity in Victorian times as garden houses, custom wedding arbors, wooden rose archways and ornamental walkways, pergolas are just as popular today, except that you don۪t need to break the bank to afford one as all of our products are very reasonably priced. With plenty of warm months left in the calendar, now is the ideal time to purchase a pergola. Get in touch and before you know it you can combine greenery, blossom and petals to completely transform your private sanctuary into something entirely unique, incredibly inviting, and the perfect retreat whether you۪re reading a good book alone or entertaining dozens of guests. If you would like to find out more about our unique products, ask a question or find out more about pergolas or any other type of Woodcraft UK product, please get in touch through our Facebook, Twitter or contact form.

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25 years of Woodcraft

Posted on April 05, 2015

We۪re in our twenty-fifth year of creating a wide range of beautiful, sturdy and versatile wooden memorial benches, not to mention tables, pergolas, gazebos, fingers posts, bollards, noticeboards and all manner of wooden furniture. To celebrate, we thought we۪d rustle up some trivia from 1990, the year our company was born. So there you have it, 1990 in a nutshell. Not a bad year, all things considered. The Hubble Space Telescope is pretty cool, and everyone loves Mr. Bean, right? We۪re having a celebration later in the year, so stay tuned for photos of some Woodcraft UK partying. If you would like to find out more about the unique products that we۪ve been making for a quarter of a century, please get in touch through our Facebook, Twitter or contact form.

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It

Posted on April 01, 2015

With the temperature rising and the nights becoming lighter, isn۪t it time you made the most of your outdoor areas? A Woodcraft UK wooden memorial bench is perfect for spring, summer and autumn alike, so whether it۪s in your back garden, a courtyard at your workplace, or even a public space that you plan to make more attractive and accessible, take a look at our extensive range and you۪ll swiftly find the products to suit your needs and tastes. Many of our customers buy bench and table ranges for their home gardens, adding the finishing touch that perfectly complements its surroundings. Popular locations for wooden memorial benches are on patios and beside fishponds the spots that usually get a lot of sun. However, we recommend mapping out your garden beforehand to see which bits get both light and shade, giving you the best of both worlds. There۪s nothing quite like lounging on a bench with a good read whilst getting a tan, but it۪s also great to relax on when its hidden in shade, with a cold drink in one hand and a bottle of after sun in the other. Having said that, our benches are easily moved by two people, so perhaps you۪d prefer to inch it along the garden during the course of the day. The choice is yours! As for our tables, they۪re as varied as our benches. Take our standard dining table, which provides the perfect platform for an impromptu picnic or a more elaborate al fresco meal. Or maybe you۪re a fan of our Waveform Bench and would like the Waveform dining table to go with it, giving your garden a beautiful and jolly character that can be enjoyed by all, even if you۪re miles away from the nearest sandcastle. As with the majority of our products, our tables are available in different sizes, plus they can come with handcrafted wooden chairs in corresponding designs. You also have the option of stainless steel fixings, which can cater for soft ground (grass, soil, tarmac) or hard ground (concrete and paving stones) to provide stability and security. Then of course there are plaques and engravings, which Woodcraft UK are particularly well known for. Complementing our expertly designed and handcrafted products, a special message will make your furniture totally unique. This could be a message to a loved one, a commemorative note for a special event, or simply a means of sharing your favourite quote, be it from Dickens, Larkin or The Simpsons. If you would like to find out more about our unique products or have a query, please get in touch through our Facebook, Twitter or contact form. We۪re always happy to help fellow wood lovers!

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Inspired by Yorkshire: The York Bench

Posted on March 08, 2015

A lot of people notice that many of our wooden bench ranges are named after places in Yorkshire, such as the Scarborough, the Beverley and the Knaresborough. The reason for this is simple and we۪re sure you۪ll appreciate it: Yorkshire is an amazing county full of inspiration. From beautiful trees that are over a century old, to the flawlessly straight lines of farmers۪ fields; from the gentle waves that roll across Bridlington Beach, to Hull۪s unmistakeable urban skyline: Yorkshire fuels Woodcraft UK۪s desire to design and create, resulting in some truly elegant ranges of memorial benches. The York Memorial Bench is an excellent example. Similar to its namesake city that has seen Viking marauders, the Black Death and more than its fair share of Civil War action, this piece of outdoor furniture is no-nonsense, traditional, robust and able to withstand practically anything the world throws at it. At the same time, the York Bench is inviting, aesthetically pleasing, and presents an air of friendly sophistication that can be enjoyed by all. As with all Woodcraft UK products, the York Bench is completely weather-resistant (this is Britain, after all). Rain, wind, sleet and snow are no match for its hardwood body and it can even endure sunshine and heat waves, not that they appear very often (again, this is Britain). Popular with businesses, local authorities and domestic customers across Yorkshire and the UK, we۪ve spotted the York Bench everywhere from school playgrounds and theme parks to graveyards and pub beer gardens. Whatever you need a bench for, this practical and classical model will do you proud, and it looks absolutely perfect in a cosy corner of a backyard, or next to a relaxing pond filled with koi carp. The team at Woodcraft UK have decades of experience and design all of our products by hand using the finest ethically sourced materials. We۪re very proud of what we do and we only sell furniture that meets incredibly high standards in terms of sturdiness, durability, appearance and safety. We۪re also pretty proud of how affordable our entire range is, offering different sizes and options to suit all budgets. Plus don۪t forget that we can add inscriptions to all of our furniture, ideal for remembering a loved one, commemorating a special occasion, or simply sharing a favourite quote with the world. You could even have a joke engraved into the woodwork, it really is up to you. If you would like to find out more about our unique products, ask a question or simply tell us your favourite thing about Yorkshire, please get in touch through our Facebook, Twitter or contact form.

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Inspired by Yorkshire: The Scarborough Bench

Posted on February 17, 2015

A wooden bench is a wonderful thing. From gardeners taking a breather to appreciate what they۪ve nurtured and grown, to businesspeople grabbing five minutes to wolf down a simple lunch, we use wooden benches all over the place and more often than we realise. Though many benches in public spaces are made of metal, concrete and plastic, they never quite achieve the quality, comfort and reassuring nature of wood. That۪s why, to us, wooden benches are incredibly important. As popular with universities, hospitals, festivals and pubs as they are with churchyards, public parks, domestic gardens and seaside resorts, wooden benches are an integral part of outdoor Britain. They۪re as iconic to our nation as fish and chips and a game of cricket, and they۪re used by young lovers, truant schoolchildren, old friends, yummy mummies and dapper daddies like. The team at Woodcraft UK believes that wooden benches are the best kind of open-air furniture, so we make them to incredibly high standards and in a range of unique, handcrafted designs. If you take a look through our website, you may notice that many of our ranges are named after places in Yorkshire, such as the Staxton, the Lastingham and the Wykeham. This is because we adore this county and find inspiration everywhere we look, from rustic simplicity to the elegance of small villages. The Scarborough wooden memorial bench range is a perfect example.

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Inspired by Yorkshire: The Beverley Bench

Posted on February 03, 2015

To put it very simply, we love wooden benches. Whether it۪s located in your back garden or along a pier, in the middle of a busy commercial courtyard or in a quiet corner of an allotment, a wooden bench offers the perfect place to rest. They۪ve been popular for longer than any of us can remember; a traditional and iconic structure that remains strong even in this age of metal, plastic and super-fibres. But what is it that makes this age-old form of seating so special? To us, a wooden bench is an integral part of outdoor Britain. It offers an opportunity to relax and take a load off your feet; a meeting place for young couples and old friends alike; a sanctuary for gathering your thoughts; and they are almost always facing something worth looking at, from a rippling pond to a roaring sea. A wooden bench is a place to retract for a short while and watch the world go by whilst still being very much in the middle of it. It۪s a place to revisit year after year and conjure up fond memories. And of course, it۪s a great spot for a mug of soup and a sarnie. This is why wooden benches are so important to Woodcraft UK, and it۪s also why our products are handmade by dedicated specialists and ideal for all environments. We don۪t just whack together a new design and put it on the market; we take inspiration from local places that mean something to us and let their individual character shape the wood. The Beverley wooden memorial bench range is a prime example.

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Woodcraft and the UK City of Culture

Posted on October 03, 2014

freedom-festival-hull When Hull won the status of UK City of Culture for 2017, we did the same as everyone else: jumped for joy, high fived, said woop۝ a few times and danced the night away. Since then, the city has already undergone developments and improvements, from a shed load of positive coverage through the Guardian, Radio 1, BBC News and various other national, regional and local media outlets, to a rise in visitor figures and an increase in corporate and individual involvement. The 2014 edition of the Humber Street Sesh saw a record 30,000 music lovers attend the one-day celebration, whilst the Freedom Festival welcomed a whopping 115,000 visitors to access the arts. Meanwhile, demolition of the old Ruscadors pub heralds the upcoming construction of the C4DI, the Centre for Digital Innovation, which will help organisations to innovate and grow through using technology more effectively. So where does a company like Woodcraft UK come into it all? It۪s true that there۪s an art to what we do, as all of our products are handcrafted by passionate experts, but how can we benefit the UK City of Culture? Well, we decided to focus on furniture and fixtures that help people to access events and open spaces, such as our benches, tables and noticeboards. As plans are drawn up for the improvement, renovation and beautification of numerous spaces (such as parks, gardens, the city centre, housing estates and main thoroughfares), attractive seating areas will prove a perfect addition to a relaxed environment. We work with councils, companies and the public on a regular basis, offering beautiful products to standard dimensions whilst also creating bespoke models to create that truly personal touch. Designed and handmade by craftsmen who love their work, we can produce practically anything you desire, from seats engraved with lines from Larkin۪s poetry, to eye-catching hardwood gazebos for festivals and events. So if you work with an organisation that۪s playing a part in the run-up to 2017, be it in the form of a city-wide festival, a charity fundraiser, the development of a public area or even a small private function, get in touch with Woodcraft UK. With everything from signposts and noticeboards to cabins and pergolas, we have something that will add visual, tangible and operational value to your cultural activity. All of our products are created using only the finest ethically sourced materials, all to the highest standards and right here in Hull, the UK City of Culture. For more information, call Woodcraft UK on 01482 887921 and let us know how we can help.

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The Beverley Bench, named after the north's most desirable places to live!

Posted on September 23, 2014

Beverley Bench Named after the Sunday Times most desirable place to live in the North east of England, we۪re particularly fond of the Beverley wooden bench range. It was Woodcraft UK۪s first bench design, and was released all the way back in 1989. Popular with a range of clients from the very beginning, we had a strong feeling that it would remain a success for years to come. With its aesthetic design and comfortable form, it۪s no mystery why the Beverley bench is chosen for all manner of environments. Constructed by hand from durable hardwood, standard sizes are available in 4ft, 5ft and 6ft. However, at Woodcraft UK we pride ourselves on flexibility and customer service, so if you۪d prefer a shorter or longer model to perfectly suit your needs, all you have to do is ask. The Beverley bench is available with square arms or flat arms, depending on your personal taste. Not only that, but you can also pick from either a straight top rail or a shaped rail, including extra deep, curved and raised designs. These different rail options work well with plaques and engravings, as we have the capability to produce and engrave attractive commemorative and presentational plaques in a variety of durable materials. This includes timber engravings, metal badges, steel etched plaques and plastic embossed badges, which each have their own charm. Whether you wish to remember a loved one or pay tribute to a benefactor, or even add individual style in the form of a favourite quote, we have the answer. As well as inscriptions, Woodcraft UK can engrave family crests or ornamental embellishmentsdirectly into the wood. Meanwhile, our plaques come in a range of finishes: bronzed, silver and gold anodised aluminium, or polished brass. So along with choosing the type of bench and its finer details, you can fully customise it with a special message to make it one of a kind whilst still blending in with its environment. As for stability, all Woodcraft UK furniture comes with adaptable fixing options. Whether your Beverley bench is to be located on grass, soil, tarmac, concrete, paving stones or blocks set in concrete, we supply the fixing brackets that will keep it safe and secure. These fittings are in stainless steel for extra strength and durability, complete with all necessary fixings. A choice of standard screws or non-return security screws is supplied as standard, and hard ground brackets also come with expanding anchor bolts. And we can۪t recommend the Beverley bench without also drawing your attention to the Beverley chair. Complementing your bench beautifully, this stylish model can be supplied either as an outdoor chair or as a garden armchair version with square arms or flat arms. Thanks to its weather resistance, the Beverley range is ideal for private gardens and public spaces alike, not to mention commercial grounds, churchyards, allotments and anywhere else beneath an open sky or secluded shady patch. As with our entire range of products, our benches and chairs are created using only the finest ethically sourced materials, all to the highest standards. For more information, call Woodcraft UK on 01482 887921 and let us know how we can help.

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Making your audience notice

Posted on September 03, 2014

Wooden Noticeboard In this world of emails and text messages, tweets and hashtags, embedded videos and trackable click-through rates, we still use some traditional communication methods on a daily basis. One such example is notice boards or finger posts, which are particularly popular with councils but also a favourite of churches, hospitals, schools, community centres and even commercial businesses and offices. Woodcraft UK create elegant and eye-catching wooden and steel notice and display boards for a variety of needs. Perhaps you have site plans that need to be accessible to the public at all hours, or a list of events and activities that you want passers-by to be able to view. Some companies may wish to display a variety of materials, whilst others want to get one message across in a big way. Whatever the case, our notice boards are sturdy, weather-resistant, secure and highly visual, plus due to the ability to install them anywhere on your property, you can decide on the location that offers optimal line of sight. Woodcraft UK۪s steel and timber noticeboards are available with a choice of pinboard or magnetic-strip backing, and each bay has the capacity to display four A4 sheets. This is the equivalent of two A3 sheets or one portrait A2 sheet, allowing total versatility; and with the option of single, double or triple bay boards, we have the solution to suit your needs. With weather-sealed top and sides and a vent at the bottom, the elements will be kept at bay whilst the internal temperature remains the same as outside, preventing steaming and condensation. We use only top quality hardwood for our display boards, combined with toughened safety glass or unbreakable polycarbonate to protect against accidents and criminal damage. Depending on where you plan on fitting the board, its doors can be lockable or fitted with non-locking handles, and an optional header board can be supplied for an informative inscription. We even supply the post and wall fittings if required, making installation simple yet adaptable. Woodcraft UK notice boards are designed to standard formats. However, if you have different dimensions, designs and materials in mind, get in touch and let us know. Since all of our products are handmade by skilled experts, we can cater to any special requirements and always enjoy a challenge. And have you thought about how your boards can pay for themselves? If you only have limited materials to display, or are due quiet times of the year, you could rent out spaces to businesses, tradesmen and the public. Everything from marketing agencies to self-employed plumbers may want to take advantage of your advertising space, and there are always fairs, festivals and other events that want to spread the word as much as possible. You could even combine this with a charitable offering, such as using one bay for paid classifieds and dedicating another to worthy causes for free. It۪s your board, so it۪s your choice! As with our entire range of products, our wooden and steel notice and display boards are created using only the finest ethically sourced materials, all to the highest standards. For more information, call Woodcraft UK on 01482 887921 and let us know how we can help.

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Timber bollards for parking control

Posted on August 20, 2014

roadside timber bollards yorkshire Whether your job is based in an office block, a school, a hospital, a shop or even a power plant, all workplaces can suffer from a shared problem: haphazard, illegal and sometimes even dangerous parking. Also residential areas such of Hull's and indeed Yorkshire's urban dwellings are often Victorian built town houses leaving street side parking the only option for a lot of residents. With parking space in short supply it can be a temptation for drivers to park on grass verges causing obstructions for pedestrians. It happens on a daily basis all around the world, and chances are you may have even done it yourself at some point. It could be something as simple as parking somewhere you shouldn۪t whilst picking up a package, or being extra naughty and leaving the car in an easily accessible staff car park so that you can do your shopping, but even the most innocent motives can cause hassle for the company that owns the space. This might not seem like a big deal, possibly even a case of First World problems, but rogue parking can hinder everything from parcel deliveries to people trying to get home, and sometimes even fire drills and real emergencies. Add to that the possibility of the vehicle not being covered by the property۪s insurance in the event of an accident or incident, and suddenly the problem becomes all the more serious for the car owner. As for the staff who work there, seeing a complete stranger park in a spot allocated to their coworkers or delivery drivers can be irritating and really mess up their day, possibly even leading to very angry notes that they might later regret writing. bollards This is one of many scenarios where wooden bollards come in extremely handy. With six popular designs (Flat Top, Chamfer, 4-Way Weather, Point, Bevel and Oval), Woodcraft UK can produce sturdy, weather-resistant and aesthetically pleasing wooden bollards to any shape, size and specification. With the choice between durable hardwood and pressure-treated softwood, these expertly handcrafted posts can be used as distinctive markers or even sturdy barriers to enforce parking regulations in any environment imaginable. Woodcraft UK also offers the option to include a reflective band, insert or plaque on your wooden bollards. Reflective bands provide excellent visibility even in the lowest lighting, helping to prevent collisions. Inserts and plaques are ideal for both general notices (e.g. Staff parking only; No entry) and customisation (e.g. Office Manager; Reserved for John Venn), giving sneaky drivers no excuse for accidentally۝ using the space. Timber bollards even help to make parking more efficient for staff, as they can be used as markers to measure out the spaces. This often works even better than surface markings, as the bollards are visible to the driver from all angles, even when reversing. Also, unlike painted lines, bollards don۪t wear away over time, so they۪re a sound long-term investment. As with our entire range of products, our hardwood and softwood timber bollards are created using only the finest ethically sourced materials, all to the highest standards. For more information, head over to our timber bollards Yorkshire pageor call Woodcraft UK on 01482 887921 and let us know how we can help.

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Timber bollards for ram-raid deterrence

Posted on August 08, 2014

Timber Bollards Yorkshire It۪s a sad state of affairs, but ram-raiding is a very real threat to numerous businesses across the UK. Many people think that only major retailers would be at risk, such as supermarkets and shopping centres, or those that sell high value goods, like jewellers and electrical outlets, but in fact anywhere with something worth stealing can find itself a target for a hit and run. Even offices are no longer safe due to the amount of IT equipment and furniture that they contain, not to mention most likely a cash office housing cold, hard moolah. Even confidential documents may become a focus for ram-raiding, as information and data can sometimes be more valuable than sellable goods and even cash. As a result, you۪ll rarely come across a workplace that doesn۪t have at least some additional security measures in place. These can range from alarm systems and CCTV to metal shutters and industrial grade paper shredders, but unfortunately there are some criminals who just won۪t take the hint. However, using timber bollards to create a clear and resilient barrier outside your premises can work wonders, as attempting a ram raid under such conditions will seriously damage and perhaps even immobilise the vehicle, which is a robber۪s worst nightmare. Durable hardwood bollards are especially good for ram raid deterrence, and you can also choose the option of including reflective strips so that the structures can be seen even in the dark. At Woodcraft UK, we recommend a combination of security measures. An alarm system and trustworthy locks go a long way, and ensuring that all staff understand the procedures and have each other۪s contact details minimises the possibility of human error. A crosscut shredder is an invaluable addition to any workplace, especially if it can also safely destroy old credit cards and CDs. Keeping a written or digital security log can come in handy, with the duty manager logging any signs of criminal activity or problems with electrical systems, faulty locks and lost keys. Anti-vandal paint and SmartWater can also prove very useful, as can handheld radios and/or earpieces, especially if they۪re connected to a wider security network. We appreciate that not every organisation will be able to afford all of the above, so instead we suggest allocating your budget to improving key security features. What we can۪t recommend highly enough is the installation of wooden bollards, as they almost completely cut out the risk of ram raiding, which is one of the main forms of entry by today۪s felons. As with our entire range of products, our hardwood and softwood timber bollards are created using only the finest ethically sourced materials, all to the highest standards. For more information, head over to our timber bollards Yorkshirepage or call Woodcraft UK on 01482 887921 and let us know how we can help your business remain safe and secure.

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Timber bollards for parks and gardens

Posted on August 02, 2014

Timber Bollards Yorkshire There۪s nothing quite like a day out in the park. Surrounded by greenery and with a gorgeous blue sky above, it۪s a brilliant way to relax, take a stroll, get some exercise, find a little alone time with a good book or catch up with friends over a packed lunch, game of football or just a bit of lazy sunbathing. The best parks are those that have plenty of wide open spaces with some secluded spots dotted around, such as rockeries, aviaries and picnic areas. In order to make areas like this easy to enter by foot but not accessible by car, councils often use wooden bollards. The reason for this is because they not only do the job, but also complement their surroundings far better than their metal, plastic or concrete counterparts ever could. Woodcraft UK offers a wide range of stylish and aesthetic timber bollards, handmade by skilled professionals who are passionate about their craft. Our six most popular designs are Flat Top, Chamfer, 4-Way Weather, Point, Bevel and Oval, but if you have a specific shape or size in mind, we۪re very happy to oblige. Both the durable hardwood and pressure-treated softwood models are ideal for parks and community spaces, as they combine sturdiness with safety unlike many other zone markers, timber bollards don۪t have sharp edges or points that can snag clothing. A few of our customers have told us that once installed, they allow cultural projects access to their timber bollards. This has resulted in everything from art sessions to public competitions, with visitors painting the bollards in a variety of colours and patterns. We love this idea, as it makes our wooden bollards an even larger part of the community and inspires people of all ages to embrace their creativity and express themselves. Another advantage is that our hardwood and softwood timber bollards can be purchased in any quantity, so if you later decide that you need more, simply get in touch! We۪re always very happy to help you get everything spot on, which is why our helpful advice and customer service are second to none. As well as large parks, small gardens can also benefit from our timber bollards. Some customers purchase low quantities to act more as signposts rather than barriers, whilst others find that wooden bollards with key information or polite notices work well amongst flowerbeds and fish ponds. This can be achieved with the inclusion of an insert of plaque, engraved with any message you desire. So whether your park or garden has a wildlife sanctuary or a sandpit, award-winning floral displays or a huge pond full of koi carp, we۪re confident that our wooden bollards can be put to excellent use. As with our entire range of products, our hardwood and softwood timber bollards are created using only the finest ethically sourced materials, all to the highest standards. For more information, head over to our timber bollards Yorkshirepage orcall Woodcraft UK on 01482 887921 and let us know how we can help.

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Create your personal retreat with a hardwood cabin

Posted on July 28, 2014

hardwood-cabin

Summertime!

There۪s nothing quite like a British summer, in that sometimes it can be like spring, autumn and even winter too, all within a single week. Still, we always make the most of it by firing up the barbecue, laying down the picnic blanket, and wearing garish T-shirts and shorts at every given opportunity. It۪s the perfect time for getting into the garden and enjoying the grass, flowers and open sky before it begins to get cold again, so having the right kind of outdoor furniture is essential. A luxury bespoke hardwood cabin can make a beautiful center piece for any garden, grounds or park and can be enjoyed all year round, making for a wonderful summerhouse, or great Autumn shelter during bonfire celebrations.

An eye-catching addition

At Woodcraft UK, we hand craft bespoke chairs, garden benches, outdoor tables and all other manner of garden furniture, but if you۪re looking to really treat yourself, we recommend one of our beautiful and elegant hardwood cabins. Designed to blend unobtrusively into an outdoor setting, these picturesque garden structures combine attractive appearance and practical functionality, making them ideal for a variety of roles.

Your special spot

Just imagine a cosy haven next to a garden pond, where you can sit back and relax whilst watching the koi carp go about their business. Or a comfy retreat in the shade of a tree as its leaves rustle in the wind, with wild flowers dotted all around you. There۪s nothing quite like relaxing in the garden, and with one of our handsome cabins, you۪ll never want to go back indoors!

The finest construction

Durable and solid, our bespoke hardwood cabins are made to your specifications. This means it can be roofed in materials such as felting and shingles to keep the weather at bay. You could also opt for panels and trellising, or with windows in safety glass or unbreakable polycarbonate; whatever your requirements we can advise on the best way forward. This means that you can fully customise your cabin, making it stand out from its surroundings, naturally blend in, or even become a part of its habitat by growing ivy or roses all around.

Be the envy of the neighbourhood

Ideal for parties, get-togethers and even casual business meetings, a cabin truly is a piece of furniture that adapts to every function, not to mention act as an appealing part of the garden in itself. Perfect when accompanied by a Woodcraft hardwood bench, it۪s an affordable luxury that can be enjoyed for decades by all the family.

Because you deserve it

Ideal for summer days and autumn nights alike, call Woodcraft UK on 01482 887921 to order your bespoke garden cabin. Once installed you۪ll wonder how you ever lived without one, so pour yourself a Pimm۪s and start enjoying your new lifestyle right away!

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Memorial benches : the perfect gift for a worthy cause

Posted on July 12, 2014

hardwood-bench

Be charitable

There are many different ways to give to a charity or an organisation that means a lot to you. The obvious ways are to drop some coins into a donation bucket, set up a direct debit, send a cheque, or back an individual۪s involvement in an event, which could be anything from a marathon to a sponsored diet. The important thing is that you۪re helping a cause or mission that you believe is important.

In-kind sponsorship

When giving to an organisation, it doesn۪t have to be counted in pounds and pence. Many people and businesses donate items that the recipient will find useful, such as surgical equipment to a hospital, toys to a nursery, or even timber and paint to a theatre for use in a production. However, making sure that this gift will be of use is very important you wouldn۪t want to later find out that your gift is simply taking up space and not doing much good.

The ideal gift

A piece of garden furniture is perfect for any organisation. Whether the recipient is a school, hospice, local council, church, or even an independent business such as a coffee shop or nursery, as long as they have an outdoor area you can۪t go wrong.

Visit their site

We recommend that you visit the organisation first, this way you can take a look around and visualise what kind of gift would work best. If they don۪t have much space, a hardwood planter would be an excellent option, also presenting them with the opportunity to enjoy a little gardening. If they have a large outdoor area that۪s a little sparse, an outdoor bench or garden table would make it far more welcoming and jolly. If, on the other hand, they already have garden benches and outdoor tables, you could choose something unique and special, such as a wooden pergola or hardwood gazebo, or even a relaxing cabin.

Nice and easy

To make it as smooth and simple for the recipient as possible, you can also organise the delivery and installation of the item. If it needs securing to the ground or wall, find out when the best time for this would be. Imagine how happy you۪ll make them when you show that you have it all in hand.

Personalise it

By adding a plaque to the item, you can present your support in a tasteful and long-term way. This could be a brief message with your company name, or you may wish to go a little more in-depth and explain why you۪ve chosen to donate to this particular organisation. It really is up to you.

Spread the word

When individuals and organisations donate to a worthy cause, they often try to get a little publicity out of it, such as contacting the local press, radio stations, community newsletters and websites. If it۪s a national charity, you could also get in touch with their head office to see if they can spread the word to their branches and customers, as well as through their social media channels. This isn۪t poor form; in fact, a little media coverage also helps the recipient and offers a feel-good article for the reader, so it۪s a win-win situation.

Repeat as needed

Perhaps you want to spruce up the communal garden of a care home with a commemorative bench, or help a local community centre by donating a wooden or steel notice board. Maybe a primary school needs timber bollards for their car park but doesn۪t have the available budget, or a parish council requires new fingers posts to direct visitors to nearby attractions. It۪s completely up to you what you donate and who it۪s to, all you need to do once you۪ve decided is call Woodcraft UK on 01482 887921 and let us know how we can help.

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New figures show a rise in garden furniture sales over the course of 2014

Posted on June 23, 2014

000003lutey A new report by the Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association (LOFA) reveals that forty per cent of homeowners plan to buy garden furniture over the course of 2014. LOFA commissioned trend research specialists Shopper Centric to conduct a thorough study and analysis of the market, and it says that garden furniture sales amassed to a staggering 75 million in 2013. The report shows that garden furniture accounts for 71% of the outdoor market at 92 million alone. The market sector can be broken down into 3 categories: The report also shows that online retailing through eCommerce is rising and we are spending more on average than shop based equivalents. Browsing online has been earmarked as the first steps potential shoppers take even if they then purchase through bricks and mortar stores. The analysis states that although the internet is playing an increasing role in researching the desired wooden bench or garden table, potentials shoppers prefer to see and touch the garden furniture which is leading to website owners taking new and innovative ways of trying to bridge that gap. LOFA chairman Paul Bevington sums up by saying:
"This report is long overdue, but we now have information that will be invaluable to the whole industry. It is an important source of reference that our members can share with their customers for the benefit of everyone in the trade."
Further information can be found at the LOFA website.

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Engravings that tell a story

Posted on June 16, 2014

wooden engraving

A popular choice

Solid plaques and wood engravings are becoming increasingly popular with both commercial customers and the public. Ranging from professional and stylish to warm and heartfelt, this form of customisation is chosen for a range of reasons, from celebration to commemoration.

Get your message across

Chances are that on a few occasions you۪ve taken a break in a park or communal garden, outside a bar or on private grounds, and the seat you۪ve chosen to relax on presented a message to the public. Quite often this could be thanking a philanthropist for a generous contribution, perhaps even for donating the bench itself. Sometimes it۪s in memory of a member of staff, or it could offer a message of gratitude to the reader for visiting the grounds. Whatever the case, plaques and engravings are the perfect way to subtly yet effectively communicate a message.

Ideal for any environment

Universities often have benches with plaques paying tribute to former lecturers. Likewise, hospitals, schools and churches use them to thank a benefactor for their generous contribution and support over the years. Many theatres pay homage to major patrons, whilst pubs might have indoor and outdoor furniture that tells a tale. City councils also regularly give thanks to leaders and mayors past and present by adorning public spaces with attractive plaques. However, it۪s not uncommon to find engravings on seats in homeowners۪ private gardens too, as this adds real individual character to the surroundings.

Choose your style

Woodcraft UK has the capability to produce and engrave charming commemorative and presentational plaques in a variety of durable materials, including timber engravings and memorial monuments, metal badges, steel etched plaques and plastic embossed badges. Your message means a lot to you, so we offer the opportunity to choose an appearance that perfectly matches its sentiment.

Let the wood do the talking

If you really want your message to stand out, we can integrate it into the very timber itself. Commemorative inscriptions, family crests and ornamental embellishments can all be engraved directly into the woodwork, creating a truly special piece of furniture that brings back memories, celebrates heritage and looks absolutely beautiful.

Be unique

Plaques and engravings don۪t always have to be in memory of someone or pay tribute to an event, and they don۪t necessarily have to be serious or profound. Even if you۪d like something witty or silly adding to a plaque, or a quote from your favourite movie engraved into a bench, just give Woodcraft UK a call on 01482 887921 and tell us what you have in mind. Remember: it۪s your furniture, so make it totally personal.

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Automatic Gate Operators

Posted on May 13, 2014

automatic gate operators The automatic gate operators originally supplied by BPT of Hemel Hempstead come in a kit as follows :- 2 operating arms. 1 electronic control box in housing. 3 wireless hand transmitters. All fixtures and fittings for mounting to timber or metal gates. Mounting instructions.

00 plus delivery

(normally 00.00) plus vat. See the video for operation:

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End of the line for the Bedale bench

Posted on April 10, 2014

bedale_woodcraft_1_flip SORRY ALL SOLD THERE WAS A MASSIVE RESPONSE FOR THIS ONE. All 5ft (1.50m) Bedale benches are now sold so we have one left of the 4ft (1.20m). As we have now moved to new premises we are letting this go at less than half price. Normally 55.00. WE ONLY HAVE ONE LEFT! 50.00 plus delivery and vat (or collection free of charge). We won't be making any more, once it's gone, it's gone!

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New address for Woodcraft UK

Posted on April 04, 2014

We now have a new address as Woodcraft of Beverley moves to Hull. Our new address is: Unit H4 Rotterdam Park. Rotterdam Road. Sutton Fields. Hull. HU7 0AN.

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New April Budget means more to spend in the garden!

Posted on April 04, 2014

2014's April budget saw chancellor George Osborne's scrap rules that force most Britons to use their pension savings to buy an annuity. With gardening a favourite hobby of pensioners, the newly retired will have more cash to refurbish gardens and buy sheds, summerhouses and garden furniture. More info from this article at Horticulture Week News

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Subscribe to our FREE E- Newsletter

Posted on April 04, 2014

Celebrating our new home at our purpose built workshops in Kingston upon Hull we will be producing a new email newsletter with exclusive Spring special offers in garden furniture. Why not join in and subscribe. Click here to join. It's free.

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Garden furniture set to rival indoor furniture

Posted on March 10, 2014

engrave_000001 In a recent article by the Telegraph newspaper, our preference for garden furniture is an increasing trend and our spend on luxury garden furniture items now stands to overtake that of indoor furniture. Homeowners and garden enthusiasts in the UK are now turning to luxury garden furniture designers in the same way that they would consider their preferences for a new settee or dining table. In recent years the style and quality of garden furniture has shaped up and has shrugged off the old image cobwebbed wrought iron and cheap eastern imports. Our desire for sophisticated garden furniture is also set to rise further this Summer as the UK moves out of recession and homeowners start to have a disposable income again. The article can be found here.

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Onwards and upwards for Woodcraft UK Garden Furniture Specialists

Posted on March 07, 2014

It's been a very exciting time for Woodcraft UK over the past couple of months and thanks to you our valued customers we are expanding and will be moving shortly to new purpose built workshops. Our state of the art wood working unit will be fully operational soon and we can't wait to resume production of our hand crafted garden furniture. Further details will be available soon but you can follow the progress on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/woodcraftuk P.S. If any of you are on Linkedin please connect with us. I'll be more than happy to accept connections: http://www.linkedin.com/in/woodcraftuk

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New 2014 Price List Now Available

Posted on January 08, 2014

Price List Graphic Happy New Year to all of our customers. We now have the 2014 Wooden Garden Furniture Price List ready for download. Just click this link to take you to our download page.

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Merry Christmas to all of our customers!

Posted on December 11, 2013

We at Woodcraft would like to wish all of our customers a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We are very proud of our customer base and would just like to thank you all for your business and support over the course of 2013. Here's to a prosperous 2014! Cheers.

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Further reductions on end of stock solid wooden sun lounger

Posted on October 25, 2013

Made from durable hardwood, 2 handles at the front for lifting, with 2 small hardwood wheels for moving it around. Backrest adjustable in several positions. sunloungerNormal Price: 00 + vat & delivery DISCOUNTED PRICE: 50 + vat & delivery FURTHER REDUCTION: NOW HALF PRICE!! 00 + vat & delivery Very limited stock available SORRY ALL NOW SOLD

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Pearson Park bespoke bench and planting system

Posted on September 18, 2013

We recently completed and installed a bench and planting system for the hot house conservatory at Pearson Park Hull. Woodcraft UK's wooden bench in Pearson Park Hull Commissioned by Hull City Council for installation in their newly refurbished Victorian conservatory in Hull's municipal Pearson Park . The work involved the manufacture and installation of a bespoke seating unit incorporating a central planting system with integral drainage system. The seating was made in a durable renewably sourced hardwood and received several coats of a mahogany coloured water-based stain. Hardwood was used as the unit has to withstand the high temperatures and humidity of the tropical conservatory, which houses exotic plants, fish and reptiles. Back of Wooden bench in Pearson Park, Hot house HullWooden bench in Pearson Park, HullSturdy wooden bench in Pearson Park conservatory HullFront view of Wooden bench in Pearson Park, HullDetail of sturdy wooden bench in Pearson Park conservatory Hull

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Woodcraft is now on Pinterest!

Posted on August 29, 2013

We have uploaded some pictures and videos of our luxury outdoor wooden furniture to Pinterest. pinterest If you use Pinterets why not follow us! http://www.pinterest.com/woodcraftuk/

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End of stock solid wooden sun lounger

Posted on August 11, 2013

Made from durable hardwood, 2 handles at the front for lifting, with 2 small hardwood wheels for moving it around. Backrest adjustable in several positions. sunloungerNormal Price: 00 + vat & delivery DISCOUNTED PRICE: 50 + vat & delivery Sorry all now sold!

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Special Offer on Wetherby Tables

Posted on April 17, 2013

We have a limited stock of Wetherby outdoor dining tables at a reduced price. 1.80m (normal price 136) less 15% = 65.60 + vat & delivery. NOW REDUCED BY 20% TO 08.80 2.40m (normal price 242) less 15% = 055.70 + vat & delivery. NOW REDUCED BY 20% TO 93.60 Click here for more info on the Wetherby Garden Table *Please note chairs not included.

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New Woodcraft UK Videos

Posted on April 14, 2013

Over the past month we have been busy uploading some new slideshow videos of our wooden garden furniture. You can check out our You Tube profile over at www.youtube.com/woodcraftuk Here is a sample of one of our videos: Your browser is not able to display this multimedia content. We have lots more over on our YouTube channel, or why not add us to your circles over on Google+ Here is our Our Google+ page.

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Brand new ex-display folding chairs

Posted on January 20, 2013

They are solidly constructed in durable hardwood, with all brass fittings. Much heavier duty then similar looking lightweight models. They have been teak oiled as well. Normally priced at 10.00 each (75.00 plus vat), we can let them go at 05.00 including vat. (That's half price !!) SORRY ALL SOLD

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