Call for Winter Help

winter bless


We hope this turning Autumn finds you well.

As the seasons rush on, we all keep pace.

Our path over the last 7 months led us to St David’s, to our great delight. From Canterbury, this counts as a half-pilgrimage to Rome, we were told ( it’s actually double, a Welsh lady assured us).

in St Davids, between rains...

We travelled back from Wales toward the bright lights of  London Town to sing a gig in the South Bank Centre, which went down most well. Microphones were turned off, and all the bright lights kept the audience invisible, so we just chattered and jumped about, having fun. It seemed to work…

Back in Kent, irresistibly drawn to respite, we’re now making various winter preparations. Stockpiles of wool, dried fruit, and tools, are piling up slowly. We have been dyeing clothes with walknut husks, making chutneys and syrups from plums, pears and rosehips. We’ve dried many apples, and gathered pig-weed seeds, nettles, fat-hen seeds, acorns, sea-beet, and other bits. We are trying to be winter-ready.

Our winter plan is to stay in one place, in woodlands, beneath temporary straw shelters to evade the worst of the cold wet. Being still will be a real treat, and will let us learn the skills that cannot be practised while constantly walking. Taking a good rest is a crucial part of  nomadic tradition.

The Fire Seed Bursts Open

Please press More for details of our requests (now long since met, our great thanks to you all)

When the snowdrops rise, we’ll be walking on, northwards. We had always intended to be in Scotland by now, but we’re not. All-willing, we’ll be there next year.

So we’re on the point of launching into our winter adventure. We will be a group of fourm with Ayla and Rose joining us. This new gang has a better balance than Ed and Will only, and our skill-resources and capacity for good work are thus greatly broadened.

Very soon, we’ll be heading back to Wales. We’re fermenting, pickling and drying the abundance of autumn wild foods, nuts, fruit and grain, and almost ready to head out again. The only missing detail, right now, is where we’ll go.

We still don’t know the place, the right location for this adventure.

We really want to be in the middle of Wales, as we’re enjoying very much the learning of her ancient language, and the depth of community in this oldest of landscapes. We are discovering great love for Cymru.

Llyn y van fach - the source of Welsh herbalism

So the question is…

Can you help us find our place for this winter?

Ed slumbersome near Chepstow

not here ed...

For 5-6 months, from now till March, we need to borrow a small patch of woodland. A stream, good trees, and permission to build temporary straw-bale shelters, is the sum of our needs. These shleters can be dissembled, or left standing, when we depart.

We will live as low to the ground as we can, gathering food and tending our space, collecting water, building an earth oven and a kiln, making baskets, spoons, bowls, cord and tools. We will ground ourselves in craft, to deepen our relationship with the objects we use everyday, that each small thing can be beautiful, and hold its own story and power.

Cave light at Symonds Yat

We hope to raise our strength for the spring, and record another album of songs while we’re at it. And, there is the matter of the book we’ve promised to write. It is going to be a beautifully busy winter.

Song-singing in Bradford on Avon

We’ll be filming this chapter of the journey, and potentially invite the occasional expert along, to teach us tricks we can document and share.

Everything we’ll need, we’ll have with us, and we will be no burden for anyone.

We want to get to know our neighbours, help out with local projects, and partake in local culture and traditions. We’ll probably also be singing a lot. But the essential plan is to be quiet, still, invisible and calm.

If you know of anywhere that might be suitable, any woods with streams that are owned by friendly folk, please send word.

Likewise, if you have good knowledge of temporary winter settlement, in any respect, please write and advise us. Tips, tricks and templates, whether general or intensely specific, are absolutely needed. If this is not your area of expertise, but you know someone who does specialize in long cold wet months outside, please put us in touch with them.

And lastly, if you somehow possess an excess of…wood-burning stoves, kilner jars, iron bath-tubs, solar-panels, honey, beeswax, demi-johns, seasoned firewood, straw-bales, chisels, a throwing axe, green canvas, wool, hides, fleeces or sheepskins, please let us know.

Thank-you very much, friends and strangers alike, for sharing the time to follow our small journey.

Will with sun in the belly

it is not getting dark

if you have good knowledge of temporary winter settlement, in any respect, please write and advise us. Tips, tricks and templates, whether general or intensely specific, are absolutely needed. If this is not your area of expertise, but you know someone who does specialize in long cold wet months outside, please put us in touch with them.

winter bless

5 Responses to “Call for Winter Help”

  1. Rachel says:

    Have you tried asking Eric who runs Cae Mabon near Snowdon?

  2. Craig says:

    Hi, I recently got wind of your travels and am enchanted. I found out about you Via an organisation with which both Sam Lee and I camp. It is great to hear songs we sing on camp coming to town. I am also a woodland owner and have passed your info on to the Small woodland owners forum as my North Yorks Coast Wooland is a little far away. If you are ever in this area looking for a place to stay or friendly camp fire please contact me as it would be a privelege to host you.

    Good luck and Blue Skies Craig

  3. Caz says:

    Hiya, Just sent an email, but thought i’d drop a line here too…check out our website and give us a call, not in the middle of wales but it is beautiful, ancient and inspiring landscape. we have jsut rebuilt a stone circle and are called to steward the land in a permaculture way.
    Drop us a line, email is tricky so call on the number i left on the email.

  4. steve the weave says:

    hello ed and will – steve the weave here – we offered you an overnight stop when in wales earlier in the year – we have some woodland and meadows which might suit you for the winter months about 16 acres – the wood is mostly douglas fir on a westerly slope and we have cut a level area or platform for our seasonal celebrations – you could make a similar platform in a day or less – the meadows are small fields between the wood and our garden – there are usefull things here – an old jotul steve and pipes, some timber for building, a tin bath, saws and tools – loads of dead wood about or trade seasoned timber from the store for a replacement. On the OS maps we a map ref – SO 212 989 for the house, 212 895 for the wood and are under the Kerry Ridgeway near montgomery and close on the shropshire/montgomeryshire border – newtown welshpool are the nearest towns
    – I am semi retired and have a weave workshop (with spare looms), my wife lisette is a piano teacher/musician and we have garden plots and poly tunnel and 2 dogs –
    you are welcome to come and do a reccy – come and meet us and see if we can get on –
    you can see us on sat image on google earth at sy16 4hh – we are the house and buildings to the east of the pointer that comes up – our ground is the 4 fields in a square to the south (+ a bit more)and our wood is the triangle piece to the west of the fields – do feel welcome to come and investigate
    good luck with your journey
    hwyl fawr y chi
    steve and lisette

  5. Andy Towell says:

    Hi Lads,
    Just heard about you,I live in Mid Wales near Llandrindod Wells,I’ll ask around some of my pals to see if there is anywhere suitable for you. Sadly I haven’t got room for you,but I’ll do what I can.


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