A delightful gathering of neighbours, friends, previous participants, artists, and strangers - around 120 - who lingered on the site. Some drank tea and chatted, others followed coastal ecologist Richard Scott out beyond the reeds at low tide to investigate how the micro marine life under the surface was thriving. Sadly - after weeks of drought and baking sun - there was very little to report.
Some twisted bread dough round sticks and cooked it over the campfire and ate them with jam or honey. Popcorn was popped in our fiendish Popper: 2 sooty metal kitchen sieves fastened on the end of a stick and rotated over in the heat. Other small children got busy with junior hacksaws making natural jewellery out of twigs from our elder trees - sawing lengths for beads, hollowing out the soft pith and threading them for bracelets.
Duncan Copley's Observation Pod was a draw for many. Up the new slate steps, turn right along the shell path and settle down on the generous curved seat. Breathing slows as the distant view comes in - 22km across the Bay and beyond to the great peak of Ingleborough with its ancient hillfort on top. It is hard to leave this place. Music drifts up from Dickson's Cure - Ali and Mark duetting on accordeon and Irish pipes, with harmony vocals. Even when the rain came on cue at 5.20 everyone snuck under the canopy and the music never stopped. By now a fiddle had appeared.
Walking down the lane from the Beach House to the shoreline, visitors passed 6 new Poster Poems by John Fox inspired by stories from people who had worked in traditional fishing in the Bay for a lifetime. Many families followed the Wildernest Trail. John's hand drawn map showed 17 places to discover, from tall cardoons and ferns, past whirlgigs, past the waterfall to the Crater of Dogs. Favourite names for the dogs - or are they really Hounds from Hell? - were suggested by the children as part of their quiz. CHIEF [the biggest of course], SCARY [standing on the rusty oildrum], TINY [on the tyre], HOWLER and FANG [with his mouth open].
No OPEN DAY is complete without an afternoon matinee at the cinema. Washed Up Cinema in the gazebo was proud to present RUSTY ROXY - Hannah Fox's intriguing booth dredged up from the bed of the sea, showing her animated Fishing Tales. Support feature was a short film using John Croskery's drone technology over the Wildenest site and edited by Peter Croskery.
Photographs Heather Naylor and Sue Gill.