Blair Drummond, by Stirling, Scotland

Camphill Blair Drummond is set in a beautiful estate in central Scotland. We have about 40 residents and roughly the same number of day students with several currently trying out life here to see if they like it. From Monday to Friday the students work in various workshops. We have a Basketry, Pottery, Bakery, Textiles, Woodwork, Craft, two Garden workshops and an Estate workshop and ‘Intouch' where we do a mix of activities and students often come to us first to see what they enjoy doing and what skills they have.  Other activities include jam making, walking, swimming and horse riding. We have just got some chickens and pigs as part of the Estate workshop too which is a fantastic addition.

The idea of a World Wide Weave is an inspiring one. Although we came late to the project we were determined to do something in the time available, especially if we used felting methods to create it. Different numbers of students in various sessions wanted to take part so we took a while to think of lots of ideas and then talk through what was possible. We ended up with a piece that could be done partly in small groups using wet felting and partly by students working individually on their ideas, most of which were with the process of needle felting. These ranged from illustrating what we do in workshops to life at CBD and its surrounding environment as well as Scotland as a country. To cover as many favourite ideas as possible we decided on a background of an apple tree both as a symbol of life and also because they grow on our estate and we pick and use the fruit in the community and make very tasty jams and chutneys, including for sale. Each of the apples themselves could then contain a picture made by an individual. There is one for the sea with shells found on an outing to a beach,  a peacock  butterfly on a sprig of buddleia representing our local wildlife, a rag-rugged tartan heart representing Scotland and also an activity we often do in this workshop, a drum and guitar for music, a book for stories and learning, a picture of sheep on the hills, a group of figures for community, family and friendship,  a teapot and cup as everything stops here for tea breaks, a muffin representing the cakes,  buns and biscuits made in the Bakery Workshop, a fork and trowel for the Garden Workshops, a basket made by the Basketry with a strawberry made in Textiles, a view of our castle, the sun with a button from Pottery at its centre, a candle to light our lives and for celebrations, and a thistle, the symbol of Scotland which was made by Alison Delaney who inspired us to do the project and helped us.