Rivington Reindeers Fly off the Shelves at New Visitor Centre

14 Dec 2021 10:14
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A bushcraft expert famed for organising funghi foraging expeditions for the public around Rivington Terraced Gardens has turned his hand to crafting wooden reindeers to raise much-needed funds for the Rivington Heritage Trust charity.


Colin Unsworth of Forest Horizons (www.foresthorizons.co.uk) is a teacher and lecturer providing personal growth opportunities in natural environments and is also a forage leader for Mushroom Spotters UK, which has 60K followers and is the UK’s largest Facebook mushroom group.


The new visitor centre, close to Go Ape in Lever Park and next to the Great House Barn, is now home to these adorable festive sculptures, that cost just £25. 


Crafted from Hazel logs, Colin describes the crafting process: “The reindeer have dried and seasoned Hazel legs, necks and ears. The ends of these are made into 16mm round tenons and inserted into 16mm holes in fresh, unseasoned 'green' logs. The moisture transfer from the green to the dry wood means that some warping takes place that makes the tenon tighten into the hole, thereby needing no glue.


“This 'wet and dry' method of round Mortice and Tenon is a traditional green woodworking technique and because there's no glue, there's no glue to crack and make the legs or neck go loose. Store them in your shed or loft for 11 months of the year and they'll last for years, and years, and years!  Or keep them outside and watch the display of the various soprotrofic fungi take hold and fruit as it breaks it down and slowly returns it to earth over the next year or two.”


Andrew Suter, Programmes Manager at Rivington Terraced Gardens, said: “Colin has done a great job making these reindeers using wood from the estate.  Pop down and give a Rivington Reindeer a home!  We’re open until Sunday 19th December from 10.00 - 3.30.”


Gifts from the Visitor Centre, including the popular Squarea certificates, which allow supporters of the Gardens the chance to sponsor a virtual plot of land by the Italian Lake, Japanese Gardens, Dell or Lawns, are also available online from www.rivingtonterracedgardens.org.uk

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