Bumper crowds enjoy forest festival’s first weekend

Tweed Valley Forest Festival
Tweed Valley Forest Festival

“It was the busiest ever and it was just really good fun,” said Tweed Valley Forest Festival coordinator Chris Sawers of the wood and food fusion weekend in Peebles.

The Peebles Food Festival and the Wood Market and Tweed Green Experience attracted big crowds to the Tweedside town during the first weekend of the festival over October 18 and 19.

New for this year was the involvement of the John Muir Trust, which staged a walk and were holding a work day last Sunday, the last day of the festival.

And Working the Tweed, the collaborative project between Borders artist and environmental organisations, took part on the Sunday (October 20), when performance artist Alice Francis, with help from Wooplaw Community Woodland, walked upstream in the river at Tweed Green, representing a salmon, towing orange balls as salmon eggs.

Speaking to The Southern at the weekend, Chris said: “The festival has been fabulous. The Wood Food Fusion weekend gone very well. We had a wonderful range of people who crafted their beautiful wooden products and some wonderful furniture down to lovely little dinky candle holders, and a wooden doorstop in the shape of a cute dog. We were really happy with the way it went. Weatherwise, there was a little bit of rain, but it didn’t last.

“Alice in the water was fun. The river was very high and we were lucky to get her in the water at all. This was just something different. She got a huge round of applause.

“There was a lot of music around and we had a lot more things happening in Tweed Green, including a forager there who was doing demos of wild foraged food,” said Chris.

The Feast in the Forest was cancelled because of bad weather, but Chris hopes to stage it in the future.

But Borders Forest Trust’s annual conkers championship proved as popular as ever.