Every summer, Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury, holds a festival that encourages the craftsmanship of those who work with wood.
The Festival of the Tree is, in fact, a celebration of rural life – but it also shows how centuries-old skills are still alive today.
Together with falconry displays (from the engaging Roger at Black Mountains Falconry) and the inevitable ice-cream sellers (although these ones sell such countryside-influenced flavours as damson and gooseberry), this year, there were over 130 exhibitors, selling everything from gate hurdles and green man plaques to wooden flutes and shaker style rocking chairs.
It’s not just sellers flogging their – very nice – wares, though. There were also woodturners showing how to make the spindles for chairs, sculptors making creations from Westonbirt trees, and others showing how to chop wood.
On a (mainly) sunny August day, smelling wood and charcoal in the air, and watching craftsmen intent on their work, there was a mellow, happy feel around the arboretum. In fact, it was like stepping back into a romanticised version of the past, seeing the countryside, and its artisans, at its best.