One thing that has shone through on this trip is kindness. Everyone we've met has welcomed us in, taken hours out of their day to talk us through with great enthusiasm and passion what it is they do. Our visit to see David at the Coppice plot was no exception. He called us on route to let us know there would be torrential rain that night and offered us the chance to sleep with at roof over our heads at his place rather than our tent, we jumped at the chance. We arrived a little later than planned but David and his wife Sarah had a home cooked meal and freshly baked bread ready and waiting for us. Their hospitality was amazing, we all sat around the table sharing top notch food and drink as well as a great selection of stories. It was the perfect setting for our final night and great company to share it with.
In the morning we were up early and headed over to the Woodland that David manages. He is a coppice and coppicing is a form of forestry management, a traditional way of looking after an area of woodland and managing it to get the most out of the land. David fells sections of the forest on a rotational basis so that when he gets back to where he started the trees are fully grown again and the new cycle begins. Every time the trees are cut down they produce a number of products ranging from top quality Pembrokeshire charcoal to a variety of beautiful greenwood work items, using everything and making sure nothing goes to waste. Davids office is the forest, he is only confined by the forest boundaries, one day he can be felling trees in a dense section, the next he could be firing charcoal in the drum or carving wooden spoons to sell at the local markets. It’s a very rewarding way to earn a living looking after a beautiful forest and maintaining it’s upkeep whilst taking enough to earn a living and live a great life. This was a constant with everyone we met on the trip, a deep satisfaction and pleasure in their work, not chasing the money but producing things with a real passion and purpose and we feel so lucky to have met and spent valuable time with all of them.