We are Bec and Dru, a carpenter-travelling-showman-woodland-managing-ethnobotanist husband and wife combo building ourselves a life that feels honest, ethical, kind and low impact.
When we aren’t on the road building shows and running events, we run a smallholding between the Quantock Hills and Exmoor. We are creating a sustainable and wildlife-friendly space full of trees that we have chosen for wildlife habitat, for medicines and plant dyes, and food for us and our animals.
Our small flock of rare breed Portlands and Shetlands provide us with high-quality fleeces for spinning, weaving and other crafts, while our West of England geese and chickens roam free and provide us with eggs. We also have a mating pair of peafowl, who keep us entertained!
Keeping these rare breeds improves the chance of the breeds surviving, in a world of commercial, fast-growing breeds. Our sheep are rotated through the smallholding, improving carbon capture and fertilising the soils. Their fleeces are shorn the traditional way, with hand blades. Not only does this improve the quality of the fleeces year on year, but it keeps them calm and happy, and it means they have a layer of fleece to keep them warm.
We are planting trees and herbs for a variety of uses, many species have several uses. We use these for tea mixes, making natural inks, dying wool, culinary uses and of course for forage for wildlife. We are creating more habitat through the planting of hedgerows, wildlife ponds, a food forest and orchard, and native woodland spaces. We regularly see deer, owls and kestrels, bats and other creatures grazing or hunting through the wildflower swathes and uncut meadow grass. We always leave areas ungrazed for the mice and voles that the barn owls feed from.
Visit our shop online at www.whittleweave.co.uk.