Despite being a very wet day the Lime Bark Day this year was an outstanding success. Most clients this year were Professionals in the Outdoors in some capacity with 3 who were on my Instructor Mentoring Scheme. The sheer delight from people was clear as they managed to slide off the bark to create cylinders with a base of lime from the same piece of tree. Some even managed to sort out a lid too which was very effective indeed. The trick was to choose a suitable piece of wood this time of year when the sap is at its peak. By lightly pounding the bark it starts to separate from the wood allowing it to be slid off. We had a fantastic trunk of Lime to work with this year which added to the enjoyment. Peeling off the bark with a barking spoon was just great fun. The long pieces of bark were taken away to be soaked in a pond for about 5-6 weeks to ret. These will be rinsed off and used for rope making tasks or sold to Archaeologists reconstructing various pieces of uncovered treasures such as the Iceman cloak/shoes or the Lime Basket found in a Dartmoor Bog a few years ago.
String was made from some material I had in stock. Again everyone clearly enjoyed working with the smooth, silky layers of material. Lime is a pretty strong material if it is harvested efficiently and retted thoroughly. I have used it on a bow string for making fire as well as one for firing arrows. There will be another day of this early June next year.