'Bricks, bodgers and broomsticks' raises awareness of Chilterns commons

Monday 10 June 2013

The "Bricks, bodgers and broomsticks" event, organised by the Chilterns Commons Project, welcomed a steady stream of visitors through the gates of the Chiltern Open Air Museum on Sunday 9 June.

Visitors helped the hovellers build a makeshift home on the common by bashing chalk for the floor and enthusiastically daubing the wattle walls. They crafted willow hurdles, lace, candles, bodged broomstick handles and made bread over an open fire. They auctioned off their family as milkmaids, farm labourers and farriers at the hiring fair, watched sheepdog demonstrations, listened to the wandering minstrel and storytellers and pelted their family with wet sponges in the stocks.

"Literally a breath of fresh air and a world away from the manufactured, overly commercialised theme parks. I cannot recommend this event and the Chiltern Open Air Museum enough," said one visitor on Facebook.

Bricks, bodgers and broomsticks - photo by John Morris

The Chilterns Commons Project is well into the second year of the four-year programme and is making a big difference to how commons are viewed in the Chilterns. Local people are beginning to understand that commons are a vital part of our natural and cultural heritage and that we can all play a more active role in cherishing and conserving them.

Hundreds of people have contributed their time and effort to the Chilterns Commons Project, carrying out practical works such as improving access, surveying butterflies and plants, restoring ponds and unearthing hidden archaeology. A popular programme of training workshops is equipping local people with the skills to manage their local common in years to come.

There are more than 200 commons in the Chilterns. Visit chilternsaonb.org/commons for information and a map.


Stay in Touch

Sign up for our email newsletter to ensure you never miss out on news about the Chilterns, just enter your email address below.

See our Privacy Policy

Don’t forget, you can always follow us on our social media channels

Facebook Twitter YouTube Flickr RSS



Bookmark and Share