Traditional crafts, jazz music and scenic walks made the first Bincombe Fayre a great success. The event was opened by Crewkerne’s town crier David Craner with an official announcement on the steps of the town hall. Demonstrations of spinning and weaving by Sarah Basham and Mandy Stead from the Somerset Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers and woodturning by Barry Golding and Keith Woolacott of Axminster Woodturners, attracted visitors to the many stalls in Market Square.

The day began with a light rainfall that cleared up by lunchtime when the Darktown Strutters Dixi Land Jazz Band performed in the archway to Victoria Hall. Crewkerne Community Transport ran a mini-bus shuttle service between the town hall and Bincombe Beeches, where visitors were able to take part in guided walks, have a go at tree climbing and a zip wire with local arborists and instructors Stewart Elliott and Scott Johnson of Tree Climb Adventures and watch chainsaw wood carving by Rob Beckinsale. There were also a few stalls on top of Bincombe hill, promoting butterfly conservation, inviting comments on the local nature reserve and selling home-made jams and ice creams. A first aider from Stoke sub Hamdon First Responders patrolled the area and was on call if needed.

Bincombe Fayre was organised by Crewkerne Town Council. Deputy town clerk Laura Gowers said: “The weather stayed dry and people were keen to have a go at the tree climbing and watch chainsaw artist Rob Beckinsale create fabulous woodland creatures from the tree stumps. Chris Sperring MBE introduced his tawny owl and discussed the habitats that owls need. Paul Burkhardt of Bushwacker Tours enthralled groups with his knowledge of local plants and their uses. Many people enjoyed a leisurely walk between the two sites or travelled by CVT.”

Bincombe Beeches is a locally designated nature reserve, hidden away to the north of the town. Many people who visited the top of the hill, hadn’t realised that it existed and were amazed at the wonderful views from the wildlife haven, home to many different species of flora and fauna. Katy Pritchard, chair of Bincombe Beeches Management Committee said: “We are so pleased that the fayre was a success and that so many people discovered the area.” The nature reserve is managed by Crewkerne Town Council whose grounds team work hard to increase the biodiversity of the meadow and woodland at the site. It is hoped that the next Bincombe Fayre will take place in the Summer of 2019.

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