One Sunday in May, the Orchard Millenium Green in Buckfastleigh in Devon was abuzz with excitement as the Network of Wellbeing, the Share Shed and the Woolly Nanas hosted a second highly popular WoolFest to celebrate the wonders of wool. Over 400 people came along. Here, Mirella Ferraz reports on what went on.

Woolfest 2024 was a celebration of wool, the many crafts that enable its use and the people who practice those crafts. It was also a fantastic demonstration of community spirit and environmental consciousness. It offered a variety of engaging activities and displays, drawing wool enthusiasts and curious visitors alike. Here are some of the highlights.

Woolly Nanas and the Buckfast Spinning Group

Ruth, Noni, and Rita, known as the Woolly Nanas, along with the Buckfast Spinning Group, captivated attendees with their demonstrations. Visitors had the chance to learn about the significance of wool as a sustainable material and try their hand at spinning, weaving, dyeing and felting.

Sheep Driving

We were thrilled to help revive an ancient local tradition: driving sheep through the main street in Buckfastleigh!

We’re very grateful to Geoff and Jeanette Connabear for bringing the sheep, walking them through the town, and demonstrating how to hand shear them.

Intergenerational Fun

The event was packed with activities for families, including hands-on activities connecting different generations and levels of expertise. The atmosphere was further enlivened by live music, making it a joyful day out for all ages.

Community Joy

The combination of hands-on activities, beautiful craft, inspiring talks, great food, and live music, created a memorable experience for everyone, and we’re thankful for the enthusiasm and support from the community.

The Share Shed

The Woolfest was organised with the help of Mark Jefferys, Manager of the Share Shed, our flagship local project. The Share Shed is a travelling library of things that serves seven towns, including Buckfasteigh, in South Devon. It offers affordable and convenient access to useful items ranging from tools and camping gear, to household appliances and gardening equipment.

The Share Shed staff and volunteers were on hand offering free memberships while encouraging people to donate to Share Shed Boost, a crowdfunding campaign which to date has raised more than £16,000 to support the service – and events such as the Woolfest.

The success of WoolFest is a testament to the power of community and its importance for the wellbeing of people and the planet. 

As a wise Vulcan, Leonard Nimoy, once put it:

“The miracle is this: the more we share, the more we have”