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Craft centre is latest stop on Chairman's tour

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Craft centre is latest stop on Chairman's tour

A visitor destination and a little-known beauty spot were the latest stops for Wychavon’s Chairman on his 50th anniversary tour of the district. 

Cllr Robert Raphael popped into The Jinney Ring Craft Centre in Hanbury recently, to discover more about the place which has enthralled visitors from across the region since opening in 1980. 

Originally part of the Hanbury Hall estate, the centre today is home to a range of arts and craft stores as well as the popular Farmhouse Restaurant and beautiful gardens. 

Owner Amanda Sunter was on-hand to meet Cllr Raphael and explain more about the history of the site, as well as explain some of the challenges facing the centre in an era of internet shopping.  

Afterwards, Cllr Raphael tried out some hand-made chocolate from the Chocolate Deli, watched a demonstration of glass blowing and discovered more about the art of pottery with members of The Pottery Workshop. 

Cllr Raphael said: “It was my first visit to The Jinney Ring Craft Centre, but it certainly won’t be my last. It was fantastic to see such support for independent businesses and arts and crafts in particular. If you haven’t visited before then I urge you to go and explore the centre for yourself.” 

In Bishampton, Cllr Raphael met with Cllr Charles Tucker, who is one of a number of volunteers helping to take care of Shorthorn Woods.  

The woodland was planted in the 1980s by John Stallard, who named it after the cattle he had grown up with, and he put many hours into its care. After his death in 2016, Wychavon, Severn Waste and Bishampton and Throckmorton Parish Council joined forces to buy the land for the community. Wychavon own the freehold and lease it to the parish council.  

The ten-hectare site is managed solely by volunteers who work hard to enhance its biodiversity. There are over 40 species of tree and many wild mammals, birds and butterflies. Although there are no public footpaths in the wood, walkers, horse riders and cyclists are welcome to use it. 

Cllr Raphael added: “It was amazing to hear the story behind Shorthorn Woods and how it has developed over time. I am hugely grateful for the efforts of all the volunteers involved for the hard work they put in to ensuring this little treasure can continue to be enjoyed by current and future generations.” 

The Chairman has set himself the challenge of visiting more than 60 parishes across the district by next April to mark 50 years since Wychavon’s formation.