Set For An Adventure

As the dusky bluebells fade in our local woods, we get ready to put plan b into action. We are getting pretty good at implementing a plan b these days. Perhaps that’s called resilience? We didn’t get our funding for our exciting summer production, so instead we have come up with another idea.

Often it feels like we have so many ideas and when I look back I wonder how we got to the end result? Creativity is like a seed. Give it enough love and attention and something will eventually bloom. So, as we look forward to the next few months, what will you give your time and effort in order for something to grow?

Blubells fill the bottom of the photo as they sit amongst the trees. A dappled light gives the bluebells a smokey look

Adventure Shack

Dusting ourselves down and picking ourselves up from a funding bid rejection means we become even more resourceful. After flexing those little creative brain cells, we are proud to bring an outdoor experience for families this summer called “The Adventure Shack”

Escape the crowds, stray from the busy paths and discover the eighth wonder of the world:

Madam MooMoo’s Marvellous Magical Market Stall!

The Adventure Shack! 

The wondrous one-stop pop-up shop for all your adventure needs! 

Except today, of all days, Madam MooMoo is unwell, and so it’s up to her loyal assistants to look after her shop. Join Prentice and Dogsbury as they unpack the unusual items from her barrow of the bizarre and discover the fantastic stories each item has to tell. 

Epic tales of adventure, mystery, magic and derring-do guaranteed to heebie your jeebies and bump your goose. If you want to follow the progress of this fun experience, then follow us on the usual social channels. If you need no more tempting? Then you can book your tickets now by clicking on the venue details below.

Markeaton Park, Derby July 20-24

Grin Low Woods (Pooles Cavern and Country Park) Buxton July 27-31

We know how hard things are for some families right now so we have made Friday afternoon at Grin Low Woods, Buxton a pay what you can performance, but you still need to book a ticket. (it’s a numbers thing!)

A cart with a jumble of objects all piled up around it. Old suitcases, lampshades, kitchenware make up the arranged items


We are thinking of hosting skills exchange workshops. We have learnt so much over the years we thought people might be interested in attending some days/weekends/evenings where we explore some techniques we use when we create our work.
This is still a seedling of an idea, but you can help shape it. What would you like to learn? If you are up for getting creative together, then hit reply to this email and let us know your thoughts.

A sketch book with a lightbulb drawn on a page with the word "Idea" written at the top of the page

Creating In The Great Outdoors

We were lucky enough to be given the chance to create playful spaces in our local woodlands. This was as part of the Stronger Roots project with Buxton Civic Association. We have installations in the woodlands around Buxton.

A view of Gadley Woods with blue skies
Gadley Woods

The idea of creating in the great outdoors is always inspiring. The sets for our show are very temporary, so the opportunity to make something more permanent was exciting and challenging. After several site visits, we designed simple elements that would spark imagination and provoke thought. Each woodland is unique, so we decided on original designs for each space.

Gadley Woods

In Gadley Woods, we designed boards with cut outs of woodland creatures and made a huge nestlike structure with fallen trees. Corbar Woods saw the subtle installation of small wooden doors with animal footprints carved on the front of each one. Also, you can discover the two lovingly crafted benches near the forest school area in Grin Low Woods.

Two people sit on a wooden bench in GrinLow Woods with a black dog sniffing in the undergrowth

The brief stipulated no colour, so what we made highlighted the natural beauty of the patterns of the wood. The concept behind the design was to create windows into the forever changing landscape of the woodland. We set to work drawing outlines of familiar creatures and then transferred them to oak boards and cut them out using a jigsaw. The edges were rounded off and then everything was sanded. We then gave the boards a Japanese style finish called Shou Sugi Ban before coating them with Danish oil.

A collection of photos that show the outlines of animals cut out of oak planks

Never have I worked with such beautiful pieces of wood. Usually, we only work with cheap quality timber, old pallets, or plywood. What a privilege!

A group of photos that show wooden boards with animal cutouts in Gadley Woods
Gadley Woods

Corbar Woods

The little doors were fun to make. A simple idea of an animal footprint carved into the front of each door. We burnt the wood and then sanded back the footprint.

Installations in the woodlands of small wooden doors with animal prints carved on the front
Corbar Woods

We made a couple of signs using a template and a router and then used the burning technique we used on the large oak boards. A Dremel sanding tool was then used to take the wood back, so the lettering was more prominent.

A group of photos showing how the signs were made

Grin Low Woods

The benches were more of a design challenge. After chatting with the children who attended the forest school, Mark came up with a few sketches, trying to incorporate their ideas. The original site changed,and so we installed two benches on opposite sides of the pathway.

Sketch of a bench design that has a curved back and seats with leaf shapes cut out on the backrest

The result? A beautifully crafted seat we hope will bring smiles to all who use it. It’s been joyous to create installations in the woodlands, something that has a lasting legacy for the people who use Buxton Woods. May you and your families enjoy these beautiful outdoor spaces.

bench installations in GrinLow Woods
GrinLow Woods