Chainsaw carvers thrill the crowds at Woodfest 2013

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Families flocked to Irchester Country Park for Woodfest 2013 and enjoyed a feast of music and the distinctive sound of chainsaw carvers.

The event on Saturday and Sunday (August 10 and August 11) featured carvers from the UK, Germany, Sweden, Holland and Belgium and even one artist from Pennsylvania.

One of the chairnsaw carvers in action at Woodfest 2013 at Irchester Country Park

One of the chairnsaw carvers in action at Woodfest 2013 at Irchester Country Park

They showed off their skills as they transformed wood into intricate sculptures in demonstrations organised by Dick Tilley, the park’s resident artist and woodcarver.

He said: “Chainsaw carving came over to Britain about 12 years ago from America. You can create art quickly and achieve some fine detail.”

Megan Brown, 17, of Wellingborough, will begin studying art and design at Northampton University in September and has been working with Dick to learn more about the art of chainsaw carving.

She said: “I was slow when I first started but I’m quicker now. I’ve done two mushrooms. The first took me two hours but I was quicker with the second one.”

As well as the spectacle of the carvers, visitors to Woodfest enjoyed a packed programme of live music organised by singer-songwriter Kenneth J Nash.

Among those taking part were Vikki Clayton, Them Urban Foxes, Apache John Band, Kings Gambit, Kismet Hardy, Adelle Kirk and Mark Gill and Greasy Diablos.

Phoebe Louise, 16, of Burton Latimer, a pupil at Bishop Stopford School, Kettering, was among the performers. She said: “It was the first time I’ve taken part in Woodfest and there was a great atmosphere.”

Dan Doyle, senior ranger at the park, said: “Woodfest has been going for five years and it gets bigger each time. It’s a great event. It offers something different and it’s all free.

“It’s a way of giving something back to the people who use the park.”

As well as craft stalls, refreshments and a beer tent, there were displays by longbow archers and the Wellingborough-based Longship Traders and the Bifrost Guard Dark Ages re-enactment group.

Julie Mason, one of its founders, said: “We do combat displays but we offer a lot more, covering everything from cooking to trade and weaving to leather work, calligraphy, bone-carving and even butter-making. Everything’s authentic and we do a lot of research. We’re bringing history to life.”

All the entertainers and groups at Woodfest 2013 took part free of charge and proceeds from the event will go to the park.