Chiddgreen hosts Third Local Skills Day

Many Thanks to all Exhibitors, Speakers and Flute Players…

Press release – watch out for an article in the Halsemere Herald on 11 October

Chiddgreen hosts Third Local Skills Day

Too small to be Transition Town, Chiddingfold has its own group promoting sustainable living in the village.

Chiddgreen held its third local skills day in aid of Skillway on Saturday showcasing a variety of skills and activities – with a twist – visitors are encouraged to have a go at everything!


  • Bicycles were mended for free, and bike owners learned how to mend a puncture, tweak the gears for a nice smooth ride and discovered the best way to apply oil to the chain.

  • Children made clay animals by hand and everyone had the opportunity to have a go at throwing a pot – visitors will collect their creations after they have been fired, in the village, of course.

  • The Forge on the Green was open, with the smithy hammering out useful items and explaining as he went.

  • The First Responders were in attendance in case of accidents, and had their dummy ‘Annie’ available too. More than one person was heard singing ‘Stayin’ Alive’ for rhythm whilst practicing resuscitation.

  • Not only was there a bread-making demonstration, including grinding flour from whole grains, but delicious home-made sourdough bread was served for lunch with soup made by committee members. And anyone with wheat- or milk-  intolerance was catered for, too.

  • Thankfully the bee-keeper left his bees at home, but folk could try on his hat and veil to see how it feels. The honey-comb and hive designs drew fascinated questions about starting a new colony and the importance of bees in food production. Bees really are miracle-workers, and need our help to stay healthy and busy.

  • More crafty displays and a chance to try something new included water-colour painting, jewelry making and fabulous flower-arranging.


  • Last year, the talks included one about keeping chickens at home, so Chiddgreen went one bigger this time with a talk on keeping pigs as a hobby.  Pigs are intelligent creatures, who like fresh fruit and vegetables, plenty of fresh water to drink, and like to wallow in mud on hot summer days: there are many pleasures in keeping these wonderful animals. But a word of warning – if you are planning to eat them, don’t give them names!

  • A talk on energy efficiency measures at home noted that saving money was only one motivation – make the right investments and you will also feel more comfortable and reduce your carbon emissions by up to 65% too (compared with an average home). There was plenty of advice on the best choices from wood-burners to under-floor heating and photovoltaic panels, not forgetting finding ways to fund the investments. Very usefully, we were given some top tips for right now that won’t cost more than a round of drinks.

  • Chiddgreen’s chosen charity Skillway was showcasing their work, with a stonemason working alongside an impressive display of wood- and metal- work projects, all completed by 14-16 year old students.  A talk from their Chairman described Skillway’s work. They have workshops in a converted chapel, and provide apprentice style tutoring on a set of accredited courses as an alternative to more academic choices.

  • And we also enjoyed a recital by The Chiddingfold Flute Group… all the talented players live here in the village, and if you would like to revive your flute-playing talents, contact us, and we will put you in touch.



Surplus funds from the event will be donated to Skillway and will help to pay for things like new hand-tools and materials for the coming term.


Chiddgreen’s Chair, Jane Devlin said “The whole idea of the Local Skills day is about building local resilience, showing and sharing skills and communicating what we can do sustainably within our local area. Skillway plays a vital role in training young craftsmen and women to be part of a sustainable future.  We are delighted to be able to show our support for Skillway with surplus funds – I think nearly £500 – raised from this event.”


The next Chiddgreen event is on Saturday 19 October 10-12noon at Chiddingfold Village Hall – Autumn Swap-it Day. For more information on this waste- reduction through swapping and recycling, please see


Jane Devlin

7 October 2013

More information

Jane Devlin 01428 684979

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