Bow-Time For Big-Hearted Archers In Guisborough Forest

The north’s biggest forest festival takes place in Guisborough Forest and Walkway on Sunday (11th September) to the twang of bows!

Archery is one of the ancient skills being demonstrated which people can try for themselves in the 900 acre North York Moors beauty spot and it’s even been helping wounded marines recover from their injuries.

In a link up with a support group, Whitby Company of Archers has been teaching servicemen – some wounded in Afghanistan – how to fire arrows at targets over a field archery course.

Their experience has been so therapeutic that one marine has gone on to win an archery medal at the Invictus Games!

The English longbow was once the world’s most feared weapon and King Edward III even banned football to ensure his subjects kept up with their practice. The Whitby archers will be at the festival to offer people a go.

“Archery is such an accessible sport that it’s perfect for all abilities and ages and has gone down a storm with the marines. We’ve been thrilled to help them,” explained society chair Shirley Rucroft.

The festival – which attracted nearly 4,000 revellers last year – is being staged by the Friends of Guisborough Forest and Walkway, assisted by Redcar and Cleveland Council and the Forestry Commission.

Over 100 exhibitors will showcase coracle making, horse logging, wood turning, basket weaving and wood whittling. There’ll also be brilliant wildlife displays, including falconry, a chance to taste wonderful local produce, including the honey of the British Black Bee, circus skills and music.

Ranger Neil Thirkell said: “The festival is all about having fun in an awesome setting. As always there will be chance to try hands on crafts, scale climbing walls, meet the Gruffalo, and have a marvellous day in the woods.”

The festival runs from 10am to 4pm.

Getting there: A free park and ride bus service to the festival will operate from Fountain Street car park on Rectory Lane, Guisborough. No parking will be available at the Pinchinthorpe entrance to the forest (except for disabled visitors). Other parking arrangements will be signed on the day. Admission is £12 family ticket (two adults, two children), £4 adults and £3 children.

Photo: Three members of the Whitby Company of Archers fire off their arrows to practice for Guisborough Forest Festival on Sunday (11 September). They are Emily Blades, 12, retired publican Geoff Eccleshall and Barbara Blades, Emily’s grandmother. They all live in Guisborough. Pic by Tony Bartholomew.