I am heartbroken at this senseless, mindless, unbelievable, felling of a a beautiful 300 year old iconic tree.
As a lover of trees and someone who loves to walk in them grow them and study them I just cannot comprehend how someone can do something like this.
I have been pasted this tree so many times, in daylight, in darkness, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, it stood majestically on the rise, in a dip, perfectly placed. It was something that was always there always standing proud and strong against everything that was thrown at it weatherwise. I just cannot get my head around it will no longer be there.
Winner of Tree of the Year in 2016, it was loved by so many and holds special memories and significance to so many,
Hopefully it will be able to regrow from it's base as planned by the Northumberland National Parks . There have been many offers of help and different ideas of how to preserve it only time will tell.
It will never be the same.
Because we love the world we Perch in, here at Jacwicks we strive to be as sustainable as we can. We are so excited to announce the use of corn in our new Pixy Perch Sleeves.
From producers Favini, this incredible eco friendly product is just perfect for our sleeves and will be rolled out across the range as we renew the packaging.
By working with print designers Robson Print, a local producer in the North, they know Jacwicks business values and strive to find innovative sustainable ways to produce their products. Its a perfect partnership and this is a great product.
The Crush Story:
Corn is one of the most imported cereals in the world and is widely cultivated both in tropical and temperate regions. The indigenous people of Mexico cultivated it about 10,000 years ago and thanks to Christopher Columbus, corn arrived in Europe. During the first decades of the sixteenth century it spread from the Iberian Peninsula across Southern France into Northern Italy and the Balkans.
Amongst all the agricultural crops, corn is the one that more than any other has been able to adapt to different agronomic environments and it is for this reason that it represents an irreplaceable source for direct use as well as for industrial processing.
To tell the story of corn and its by-product used in the production of Crush Corn paper, we start in the fields. From the corn plants, once sown, irrigated and cultivated, the cobs are harvested in the summer period and they are then dried and shelled.
The grain is separated from the corncob. This by-product is generated by the shelling process and is reused in different ways.
In the production chain of corn, the corncob is a by-product that has interesting features for its reuse in different areas: for energy use, as a raw material for animal fodder and for industrial uses; as a base for the production of absorption granules for friction finishing and sandblasting; as pet litter and a substrate for horticulture, it is also used in cosmetics for absorbing perfumes and essences.
Favini intervenes at this point, using the residues from corncob and elevating them from a waste material into a valuable raw material for the production of high quality ecological papers following the principles of circular economy.
Crush Corn has been created as the first paper to be made with by-products taken from the agri-industrial processing of corn using it to substitute up to 15% of tree cellulose.
To find out more please visit the Favini website
The Pixy Perch is our smallest Perch which is suitable for the smaller bottoms and still provides protection from dirt damp and dusty perching places.
Until next time Happy Perching!
After a fantastic review in May appearing in Trail magazine's Gear Guide 2023, we were soooo excited when our gorgeous Pet Perch appeared in the Independents 13 Best Dog Bed 2023 guide.
We came away with 4 stars out of 5 and was 5th in the lineup. Not bad for a small independent business.
Our furry testers tried it at a local pub and much preferred the familiar scent and warmth of a bed they’d already slept on to the stone floor.
And that’s the reason why they exist. It’s so gratifying that the tester really got the purpose right and they do exactly what they are made for. Providing comfort to your furry friend when you're out and about.
When I started this business, I had no idea where it would take me and to appear in two national publications with rave reviews is beyond my wildest dreams.
Perseverance pays off!
You can find your Pet Perch here with four designs to choose from.
We've done it again another rave review, this time in Trail Magazine's Gear Guide 2023. Having tested the Pocket Perch over a number of years the Trail review team describe the Pocket Perch as: Warm, soft, highly packable and utterly puncture-proof.
I couldn't agree more.
As a small business it's wonderful to receive such praise for our premium product.
That's a hat trick over the years we have had rave reviews from Country Walking (twice), Walk (Ramblers magazine) and now Trail, Gear Guide 2023.
Now you don't just need to take our word for it they all agreed, a Pocket Perch is the perfect sit mat that fits in your Pocket and protects from even the wettest spots on your next walk. With over 20 designs to choose from which one will you pick?
April is one of those Spring months that can lurch from freezing cold to boiling hot all in a day.
Rain showers can turn to hail or snow and you can get caught in a shower at any time. With your Perch in your pocket you can enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather.
Spring walking is one of my favourite things to do. Whenever you step out there are new flowers popping up everywhere, from daffodils to wild garlic each week a different scent or colour.
Blow off those winter cobwebs, dust off your walking boots and get outside, it's lovely when you can get out about.
If you're lucky there's nothing lie that first taste of warm spring sunshine it always surprises and delights me. It's the joy that warmer days are coming and the cold winter is fading.
Even though it is National Walking Day on April 5th any day can be a walking day, just do it! And if you're lucky enough to have that spring sunshine don't forget your Perch and to sit and enjoy.
Spring is in the air and here at Jacwicks we are delighted to be introducing two new fabulous designs in time for the, hopefully, warmer weather.
Rain or Shine
This bright and cheerful rainbow design is perfect for brightening up even the dullest day when you're out and about on your favorite walk.
This cute woodland animal design is just gorgeous and fun, with foxes, hedgehogs, owls and squirrels accompanying you on your travels.
With the top fabric a very user-friendly Polycotton and with a thermal quilted inner and a waterproof back, these new designs provide stylist protection from damp, dirty, dusty surfaces when you're out and about enjoying the countryside.
Available as a Pixy, Pocket, Poly or Picnic which one will you choose?
Happy New Year. Looking at the January post from 2022, there was quite a lot of hope for a better year. In fact it turned out to be one of huge highs and lows.
We came out of the pandemic, the huge high as we celebrated the Queens Jubilee only to be followed by a huge low as we lost her in September.
The Woodland Trust celebrated 50 Years as an organisation, saving countless acres of woodland and forests. A massive achievement and they continue to grow and expand. Maybe we can help their cause and plant a tree in 23.
You don't necessarily need a garden, you can plant a tree in a pot, I have Beech, Birch, Sycamore, Olive, Oak, Chestnuts, Acers and Maples all in pots. All growing happily in their own micro climate.
So what does 2023 hold for us?
One thing is for sure we can't predict the future, so when things get tough just remember the countryside is still there.
Grab your Perch and walking boots open your door and go for a hike. Forget about your worries and breath in the fresh air, you'll feel better for it.
What ever you do this year hope it s a good one and Happy Perching!
December already? Time flies and this year it seems to have gone quicker than ever.
What an exciting year its been, from being included in Walk the Ramblers magazine, to being stocked in shops and stores across the country and beyond its certainly been a busy year.
Its been lovely to get out and about and meet customers again and conversations I've had with customers old and new, and other makers and designers, have been inspiring and humbling.
What ever your doing this Christmas I hope you are able to take some time out and about enjoying the countryside on a Perch taking in a beautiful view,
BTW last posting date for orders is 18 December just to ensure your items arrive in time for Christmas.
Have a great Festive Season and a fabulous 2023!
This November I will be out and about in the North East, with some special offers and exclusive designs.
Friday 11 November 22, from 11-6, Sook Space, Upper Red Mall, Metro Centre
Saturday 12 November, from 10 – 4, Land of Oak and Iron
I will be showcasing the Perch range of waterproof sit mats and mini picnic mat products, as well as the Fabwrap range of sustainable gift wrapping and the very popular Grab Ya Boots Bag.
The designer Maker Pop Up at the Metro Centre is a collaboration of local designers and makers brought together by Newcastle University Business School for their Pop Up Primer Programme. It is a showcase of local talented makers who have taken part in the programme. The Pop Up will be open on Friday and Saturday 11 and 12 November, 11am-6pm and will be a great opportunity to buy some lovely quality gifts from local designer makers.
If the Metro Centre is not your thing you can catch me at the Land of Oak and Iron, on Saturday 12 November, 10am - 4pm.
A selection of Perches are available to purchase in the Heritage shop for a limited time until the 11 November. From the ever-popular Atlas Range to the New Tartan and Fleece Perches. Your fur baby is not forgotten either, with the cosy Pet Perch also available to purchase.
The Land of Oak and Iron is perfectly situated for a walk in the countryside and has some great benches to Perch on whilst having a coffee in the fresh air. With the Pixy and Pocket Perches for one, or the Poly Perch for two, there’s a size that fits all.
So why not pop along and say hi at either venue, it would be great to see you.
If you can’t make these dates the Perch range is always available at the Durham Dales Gift Shop in Stanhope, or from the Jacwicks website.
Happy Perching! Ruth x
I am delighted to be introducing the NEW range of gorgeous Tartan designs to the Perch family.
Choose from a smart Denim, super smooth Red and Black and cosy Red Wine Tartan designs. Still handmade in the UK from, Co Durham, they provide complete protection from damp cold benches, rocks, grass or anything else you would like to sit on.
The Denim and Red Wine designs are available in Pocket, Pixy and Poly Perch sizes. The Demin Tartan is a lovely sturdy linen look fabric, which look great in all designs, ideal as a gift which appeals to men and those hard to buy for people, ‘who have everything’. The Red Wine Tartan designs is a cosy fluffy faux wool fabric, which bring extra comfort on cold damp benches, grass and rocks.
The Red and Black Tartan, is a limited edition. Made from rescued from landfill fabric and is available in Pocket and Pixy sizes only. This unique range are very limited in numbers. Made from Scuba fabric they are easy to use, provide great protection and comfort and roll up beautifully to pop in your pocket. As a limited edition they are very low on numbers, so don’t delay in ordering yours because once they are gone, they’re gone.
To view this fabulous new range and grab your favourite : Pixy, Pocket, or Poly
www.edintattoo.co.uk/August is a month of summer fun. Whether it’s days out or a week's holiday it’s great to be out and about in the warm weather.
There’s so much to do. With the return of so many festivals, gardens, fairs and shows this year we are spoilt for choice.
More gardens are opening as part of the National Garden Scheme in aid of charity and above I'm enjoying a day out at a local garden. Posing on an Atlas Blue Pocket Perch, which I was able to fit into a tiny handbag. Its a great way to spend the day, in spaces not usually open to the public and helps a charity too.
As I may have mentioned in previous blogs, I love a County Show and to have so many back this year is a real treat. There’s always a haybale to sit on and though very welcome they are not the comfiest of things to sit on so I always take a Pocket Perch so I can whip it out and protect myself from spiky straw. Children love all the animals at the shows and when it’s time to take a break the Pixy Perch protects the same way, just perfect for the smaller bottom and it tiny when rolled.
Also back is the ever-popular Edinburgh Tattoo after a 2-year break. A Pocket Perch comes in really handy when sitting on the plastic seats for 2 hours and last time I went it rained and the seats were wet, making the Pocket Perch an absolute must.
The Poly Perch, comes in very handy when camping. The mini picnic size is great for placing outside the tent for socked feet to land on when emerging and keeping dirty boots away from the insides. There’s nothing worse than having a muddy/dusty tent and the Poly Perch enables you to remove your shoes/boots outside and keeps your feet clean and dirt free.
If a day at the beach is your thing the Picnic Perch provides enough space for the whole family to enjoy lounging picnicking and all things in between. With its comfy layer of quilting, it provides protection from damp sand and pesky pebbles.
Where ever you go this summer there’s a Perch that’s suitable for your needs whatever the weather.
Enjoy the sun, stay safe and protected.
Looks like the weather has got the memo that July is National Picnic month and it sent the sun out to play.
I love a picnic. I think there’s nothing better than finding a space in the country or at the beach where you can sit and enjoy a beautiful view, food tastes better and it’s so relaxing.
The origins of the word ‘Picnic’ can be traced back to the seventeenth century French word ‘pique-nique’ which described a group of people dining in restaurants who brought their own wine. Leading to the picnic being a meal where everyone brought something to share.
Is wasn't until the mid 1800’s that the picnic became a common English word. Poems were written romanticising them, they became fashionable. Fortnum and Mason claim to have invented the Scotch Egg, specifically for picnics, something that is still taken to this day. Pasties and pork pies had been around before then but they were ideal to take.
The Victorian era saw a surge in picnicking, with the social season revolving around events which were made for long lunches outdoors: Henley Regatta, Glynebourne, Epson, Goodwood, and garden parties. It was as boom time for Fortnum and Mason with their now famous luxury hampers being the accessory to be seen with.
Now a picnic can be as simple as a snack bar taken during a short break on a walk. Or a long lazy sunny afternoon with friends and family all chipping in and playing games. Bliss.
The Perch range is made for picnicking, from the Pixy and Pockets for one, to the Polys for two sharing and the larger Picnic mats for families. There’s a perch for all occasions.
Wherever you go for your picnic Happy Perching!
This month there is only one thing to say and that's many congratulations to Her Majesty The Queen, on her Platinum Jubilee.
However you celebrate or just enjoy an extended Bank Holiday have a fabulous time and remember to take you Perch so you can have fun what ever the weather.
YES! May is National Walking Month, (though here at Jacwicks we think every month should be a walking month) and what a great month it is to be out and about. May is the month when the countryside comes alive. There are beautiful Bluebell walks in forests, the blossom is out and all the birds are singing. The weather is starting to warm up and you get the odd really warm sunny day when it’s great to be alive.
This year it seems the blossom is fuller than ever and the Bluebells are blue’er than previous years or is it just me?
There are lots of way to enjoy National Walking Month. You can challenge yourself by setting a goal of miles walked it month. You can sign up to a charity's NWM campaign and raise money for a worthy cause while you walk, there are lots taking part. Or you can catch up with friends and get fit at the same time.
To make it a bit more challenging why not give Nordic Walking a try? The added arm movement gets your heart rate up and increases your activity. According to Nordic Walking UK:
Nordic walking can be as cardiovascular as running but feels easier because the poles provide propulsion making you lighter on your feet. It tones the whole body and improves posture too, so we liken it to using a cross trainer machine in the gym - only we are in the great outdoors with fresh air and nature!
Why not give it a go? There Nordic Walking groups across the country, some will even lend you sticks as a beginner, just to see how you get on. I Nordic Walk when I can and it’s a great way to combine a work out and a walk without going to a gym.
Where ever you walk this month don’t forget to take a break and enjoy a beautiful view on your Perch.
Until next time happy Perching.
Made in UK Day 2022
March 9 2022, is Made in UK Day, the day when Make it British celebrate and champion designers and producers in the UK. I am delighted to be part of this unique campaign and proud to design and produce my products in the UK.
There has never been a more important time to buy products that are made in the UK and support local manufacturing.
By pledging to buy products that are made in the UK you are lowering your carbon footprint, saving essential skills, helping local economies and creating job opportunities.
We want everyone to get behind Made in UK Day to celebrate the wonderful makers that we have in the UK.
UK manufacturing is currently worth £192 billion to the UK economy and employs 2.7 million people.
More than 65 million people live in the UK and if everyone bought just one item made in the UK worth £20 (the price of a Pocket Perch) on Made in UK Day it would be worth £1.3billion. Now that’s something worth celebrating!
I'm also celebrating a first this month with the Pocket Perch appearing in Walk magazine Spring issue. Walk is the magazine for members of the Ramblers Association. A charity created in 1935 by a group of walkers from across the UK to improve, protect and increase access to the countryside.
Throughout the years the charity has grown and developed and from an initial beginning of 1,200 members and 300 affiliated clubs, to over 500 local groups and over 107,000 members.
They have been guardians of the countryside and lead many campaigns to keep footpaths open, accessible and available for all to enjoy across the UK.
It’s great to be associated with these two pioneers of Britishness.
Until next time, Happy Perching,
Thank goodness January is over, I don’t know about you but I always find January one of the hardest months, The weather is cold and windy and walks are taken in the small window of daylight hours, as the temperature drops as soon as the sun goes down. February has the touch of a promise of warmer lighter days on the horizon. It can snow anytime until April here but February always gives me a sense of hope.
There’s so much to look forward to and celebrate this year. Not only the Queens Jubilee, but also the Woodland Trust Celebrates 50 years of saving and preserving precious woodlands across the UK.
In 1972 a group of friends gathered around a kitchen table in Devon to discuss saving a local wood. The kitchen table belonged to Kenneth Watkins OBE – their founder and first chairman – who was so concerned about loss of ancient woodland, he decided to do something about it. That day the Woodland Trust was born.
As they turn 50, they are proud to have inspired 500,000 people from the UK and beyond to be a member or supporter of the Woodland Trust, to care for more than 1,000 free, public woods and have got more than 50 million trees growing. An incredible achievement to say the least.
Trees are one of my favourite things, I even have a family tree in the Jubilee Woods planted to celebrate HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
January saw some of the worst storms the UK has had for a long time and the toll it has taken on trees is devastating. Whole woodlands have been brought down, trees that have stood for hundreds of years gone in an instant. The power of the weather is phenomenal. It makes this year's celebration all the more significant. To preserve and appreciate the ancient woodland we have, as they are the lungs of the earth and once, they are gone it takes hundreds of years to replace them.
Whatever you do this February, maybe take a moment and go for a walk and just appreciate a tree you see on the way.
Until next time, happy Perching.
New Year new hope. With the past 2 years being one’s, we’d rather not repeat we can only hope that 2022 will be a better experience.
January is the time when people make resolutions only to break them before the end of the month. Some like to make intentions which I think is rather more doable. I have the intention to walk more, work smarter, stress less. Perhaps, maybe, it will work out, we’ll see.
There are a few things to celebrate nationally this year. With the Queens Platinum Jubilee in June being a particular highlight, something we will never see again in our lifetime. The return of large events and shows is also exciting. Celebrations and anniversaries rolled over to this year will also hopefully make it a better year.
Whatever your doing in 2022 make time to take a break, get out in the countryside and find a place to Perch. Take a minute to reflect on 2021, take a deep breath and move forward into 2022 with new hope.
The weather is turning chillier and the clocks have gone back, which can only mean Autumn is here.
I find Autumn a time for walking quicker to stay warm, find beauty in the rustic colours of flora and fauna. Finding joy in sighting wild animals going about their business gathering food for the hash months ahead.
Last month I launched the new Fleece range of Perches just in time for Autumn and they certainly allow you to stay just a little longer to enjoy a beautiful view.
The new Grab Ya Boots Bag was also launched and it saves your car or home from wet muddy dirty boots and is so easy to just grab and go. It comes with two pockets for your Perches or a scrubbing brush to get that pesky mud off once dry. They are also easy to clean without any zips to gather mud and dirt.
On another note, with COP26 in full swing I found myself checking to the sustainability of the Jacwicks range.
The Perches are made to be used and loved for years and years. Reused again and again. They are handmade in the UK from UK sourced suppliers. Where possible I try to rescue fabric from landfill. I keep all off cuts of fabric and work on new ideas to make them into something useful. I hate waste and strive to keep it to the minimum.
All packaging is paper based where possible, only using plastic on larger parcels when I don’t have another option.
As a small brand whose products are about enjoying the environment and the countryside around us, I’m trying to work with a conscience, be more sustainable and eco-friendly. If we all do our bit, we will make a difference.
Until next time Happy Perching!
The COSIEST sit mat you can fit in your pocket just got even COSIER!
As we move into Autumn and Winter, I'm sooo excited to launch a new range of warm cosy Fleece Pocket and Poly Perches.
Available in 4 designs, all with 4 layers of protection, the Fleece Range brings you even more protection from cold damp benches, rocks and logs wherever you choose to sit outdoors.
Choose from cosy Camouflage, Green Leaves, Purple Polka Dot and bright Sunshine.
There's a Green Leaves Poly Perch for even more cosy coverage and Brown Paws Pet Perch for your fur baby.
June is the start of Summer. With the meteorological start of summer being 1 June and the longest day 21/22 (there’s always a debate in my house), the fab warm weather we are enjoying all leads to summer being here.
Get outside, enjoy the sun when it shines and take in the sights and smells of the countryside. It will make you feel sooo much better.
Another thing that makes you feel better is forest bathing. A walk in the woods is one of my favourite things to do. The Bluebells of last month are fading, new species are taking their place and the tree canopy is closing over to bring more shade. Find a quiet place to Perch and just take a moment to just be still, enjoy the bird song and the sound of the leaves moving in the breeze. Smell the forest and the flowers within it, anything that just makes you feel closer to nature, is good for the soul.
As a supporter of the Woodland Trust, it’s interesting to read their latest report on the state of the nation’s woodlands and trees. The headline fact is that there is concern about woodlands and trees. Coverage from woodland has more than doubled in the last 100 years. Unfortunately, the main species of the additional coverage is with non-native trees (such as managed forest), leaving existing native woodland isolated. This leads to a poor ecological condition which has a knock-on effect to a decline in woodland wildlife.
Ancient forests have a fascinating complex eco system, and are vital to the planet. If you are interested in trees and woodlands, I would recommend reading The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben. It makes a walk in the woods so much more interesting.
There are several active tree planting campaigns at the moment, with the aim to encourage as many people as possible across the country to join in. Here are some you can join in with:
I love trees in my garden and even though it's quite small I have several medium size trees and over 20 homed in pots. I just need a bigger garden to plant them in.
Enjoy the start of summer, plant a tree and you will enjoy the benefits for years to come.
Until next, time Happy Perching
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.