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Bender in the Woods

Posted by Rosemoor Garden on 11 Jun 2009 at 04:13 PM

It’s just our newly constructed play den; just one of the many attractions in our new picnic/play area ‘The Brash’.

In case you are still wondering a bender is a construction built using wood and reclaimed material from the surrounding land. Its design is very eco friendly and is used all over the world, as shelter and housing for alternative living.

Benders can come in all shape and sizes. In this scenario we have chosen to build a dome shaped bender with the inside height measuring approximately 6ft and the floor space 10ft in diameter. We used coppiced wood from the surrounding woodland. Silver birch, willow and hazel were favoured for most flexibility.

A large piece of birch with a crook in the top was used as a central support post, then after marking out a rough circle, willow uprights were sat in the ground and tied to the centre using bailer twine. More willow and hazel were used to weave horizontally around to add extra support and cover. Finally stout bamboo was fixed vertically around the perimeter leaving an entry and exit point. These were cut from the garden. With all the willow woven and the bender standing proud, it was time for our final celebratory pictures to be taken. Bush tucker hats all round…..

Baler twine was the only non natural material used. We refer to it as ‘Gardener’s Friend’. It can be used on everything.

The work was carried out by John Bridge, Phil Scott and starring Helen Round for the final pictures.

John Bridge


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