Ash Dieback Disease Update

Ash dieback disease, caused by the fungus Chalara fraxinea has to this date
been found at over 400 sites in the United Kingdom. Predominantly in the East
and Southeast of the country, ash dieback has also been discovered in ash
trees as far apart as Inverness and Cornwall.

The latest news on this catastrophe is the announcement that 250,000 young
ash trees are to be planted in an effort to combat the disease. It is hoped that
the young trees will grow a natural resistence to the disease and the ash trees
will then over time win the numbers game.

The £1.5 million project is the first of its kind in Europe and the young trees will
be carefully monitored and their genetic material studied if they do show a
resistence.

You can read much more about the outbreak stage, what scientists know about
the disease, symptoms, reporting diseased trees, managing the disease and
other key facts and figures at http://www.forestry.gov.uk

How to Fit a Ferrule onto a Walking Stick

All walking sticks have something to cover the tip of the shaft where the stick meets the ground, this is called a ferrule. You can get rubber ferrules which provide a grip on the ground to avoid slipping, metal ferrules which are harder wearing but do not grip or bone or antler ferrules for antler handled canes.

Metal ferrules can be plain (flat) or spiked and can be made from steel, brass, copper or nickel.

Many stick-makers turn there own ferrules from copper plumbing fittings as these are cheap and there is a ready supply.There are several ways to fit a metal ferrule to a walking stick and this is what we are going to look at in this article.

The first step is to prepare the bottom of the shaft where the ferrules will be fitted. The best way to do this is to twirl the stick around in your fingers with the tip against a belt sander so that you can get a nice tapered tip. The aim is to fit a ferrule so that it is flush against the side of the shaft with no edge sticking out that the user can catch themselves or something on.

Then choose or make your own ferrules with a diameter slightly less than the walking stick shaft due to the tapered tip you have just made.

Then you use some wire wool to rub the inside of the ferrule and then add some epoxy resin glue to the tip and then attach the ferrule. You can also pin the ferrule by hammering two sharp pins through the ferrule or by crimping the rim a couple of times with a sharp nail and hammer. Some stick makers use epoxy glue and then pins.

To finish, polish up the ferrule especially if it is brass so that it looks nice and shiny.

Some other ferrules you can buy are; magnetic ferrules (to pick up spent gun cartridges), steel tipped brass ferrules for extra durability and ice grip ferrules which are covered in spikes (like crampons). Then there’s the combi-spike ferrule which is something you would find on wooden hiking sticks or other country walking sticks. It’s essentially a steel spiked tip with a robust rubber ferrule that fits over the top so that the stick can be used or soft and/or hard ground.

We stock all of these different types of ferrules, so please click on “ferrules” to take a look!

Here’s some more instructions on fitting a metal ferrule from my father (good old Dads hey?!):)

To fit a metal ferrule to your walking stick

Select a ferrule the diameter of the end of the stick or slightly smaller. Measure the length of the ferrule on the end of the stick,using a craft knife score the mark around the stick. From the mark shave to the end of the stick once all the way round.

At the tip of the stick (last 1/4 inch) shave down to the diameter of the tip of the ferrule. Fit the ferrule on the stick,you can now see what needs to be taken off from the mark. Shave down once all the way round and try the ferrule again, repeat if need be until the ferrule fits tightly up to the mark.

you can now glue the ferrule in place using a two part epoxy resin.When dry,using a hammer and punch, punch an indent near to the top of the ferrule, then repeat on the opposite side.

Ideas for Mother’s Day from Walking Sticks Online

Your mum will be well pleased with a nice new walking stick this Mothering Sunday which is on the 10th March in the UK this year.

Luckily we have an extensive range for your perusal and we have a 24 hour delivery option so that getting the stick on time is guaranteed. You can even have it delivered on the 9th March which is a Saturday.

Lots of sticks are suitable but the best-sellers for women tend to be the folding walking sticks. We have about seventy different folding sticks to choose from in
various designs, styles and budgets.

The good things about the folding canes are many! They have small handles, some have pretty designs, some fold up to fit inside a handbag and they are all very lightweight, height adjustable by an easy-to-use mechanism, can be bought together with some useful accessories and can be gift wrapped.

The folding sticks are also cheaper to post than the one-piece wooden walking sticks are which means you pay less postage at the checkout.

The adjustable crutch or Derby handled walking sticks and the new patterned hiking poles are also a good choice for Mother’s Day. They have the same attributes as the folding range except that they don’t fold up.
These sticks will fit into a standard suitcase when telescoped down to the lowest setting for taking on holiday.

Other choices are the animal head topper canes, nice for pet owners with dogs or for nature lovers. Then there’s the dress canes and the chrome or silver plated canes for something smarter for special occasions or just as a nice stick to have around.

For outdoor lovers we have a great range of seat sticksflip sticks and fold up chairs. These are great as they provide a handy seat when you are out and about and don’t know where or when a seat will become available.
For example in a queue or at an outdoor event.

For smaller budgets we have some really useful accessories and gadgets for walking sticks.

If you are not sure then you could also buy a gift voucher for your mum to spend on the website.

Don’t forget you can also request a catalogue to be sent out in the post to any address so that your mum or you can have a leisurely browse through a paper catalogue of all of our products.

Enjoy!

 

Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Men Folk

It’s not easy shopping for men is it? (Not so for women. Pretty but practical, works every time!)
A walking stick is a great present for young and old, country and town’s men alike.
For young boys we have the junior hiking and thumb sticks.
All boys love to carry a stick when outside exploring and this carries on into manhood!
It depends on what hobbies your man takes part in. For country pursuits such as fishing, hunting, hiking and walking then this is a great present to buy.
Fishermen like to take a wading stick to help them keep balance in the water. We have several different wading sticks, all with a special weighted end and a Lanyard to keep the stick from drifting away down stream.

We have lots of very nice shooting sticks with leather sling seats and steel spikes to provide a comfortable seat out in a muddy field.

Wooden hiking sticks also make great gifts. We have about eight different styles in stock plus some beautiful handmade ones that come and go very quickly!

For country walks and enjoying the outdoors we have some great thumbsticks, shepherd’s crooks and market sticks.
The handmade versions in these ranges are very appealing and make very nice, long-lasting presents.

In the thumbstick range, you can choose from natural wooden sticks and ones with deer antler handles. We also have some with a handy whistle cut into on of the tines of the antlers. The whistle sticks are very popular with dog walkers.

For birdwatchers and photographers, there’s the camera monopod stick. This is a chestnut hiking stick with an attachment on the top that all cameras and camcorders can fit onto, thus providing a steady hand while he gets that shot of a flock of starlings coming home at sunset.

Or, if you’re looking for something a bit fancy or luxurious, we have a range of Italian silver plated walking canes and an Italian leather handled cane as well. All of these canes look really beautiful in real life!

The hand carved walking sticks also make lovely presents. There is something really special about giving someone something that an artist has spent many hours of care attention making just for them!

For next year we will be offering some nice personalisation options for some of the walking sticks in our range plus some more interesting, unusual and innovative sticks and accessories.

So there’s my list. I hope you find some inspiration! If not then a selection of “funny named” ales always goes down a treat!

The Amazing Properties of Bamboo

We are just in the process of making some hiking sticks out of bamboo and I just had to write a post about bamboo and its amazing properties!
Where to start? Well bamboo is the biggest member of the grass family and are some of the fastest growing plants in the world with some tropical bamboos growing 90cm in a day! Even bamboos growing in temperate climates grow between 3 and 10 centimetres per day.

If that’s not amazing enough then what about this? Like all plants, bamboos flower but they flower very infrequently.
So much so that the interval can be as long as 65 to 120 years! Then when a species of bamboo has waited all these years to flower, all of the plants of that one species distributed around the globe flower together in a mass flowering over a several-year period. Needless to say, the reason and cause of this phenomena is largely unknown.

There are about 1450 species of bamboo on the planet and (like Eucalyptus trees) they are found in a diverse range of climates, from snowy mountains and semi deserts to hot tropical jungles and forests.

Bamboo is a brilliant material for so many things. Due to its structure and the fact that it is hollow inside, it is both very strong and lightweight. Just like coppicing Ash trees in England, bamboo must be harvested when the sap levels are at their lowest and when (in bamboos) the culms reach their greatest strength.

Bamboo is harvested for furniture making, fencing, scaffolding, bridge building, buildings, flooring, textiles and other goods, paper, musical instruments, fishing rods, bicycles, in cooking, walking stick making, etc, etc. Now, in 2012
the bamboo industry is worth US $25 Billion! Bamboo is used for scaffolding in Hong Kong to build skyscrapers.

So there we go, what a material. You can of course find out loads more about bamboo on the web and we will of course let you know when our bamboo hiking sticks are finished and available to buy!

bamboo bike
Bamboo Bicycle

How to Glam-Up a Walking Stick!

Glam up a walking stick for the stage – big time!

You won’t recognise it as such, but one of our Acacia Walking Canes was used as a prop in a dance on Saturday night on Strictly Come Dancing (she announces with a flourish)!

The very straight forward and traditional walking stick was glittered all over and the crook handle was replaced by an retro microphone! Bravo!

You can watch Nicky Byrne & Karen Foxtrot to ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ below:

Airport Security – Taking your Walking Stick on an Aeroplane

Now here is a very valid question; What types of walking canes are allowed through airport security?

What counts as a weapon these days? (My friend couldn’t take an opened jar of Branston’s Pickle in his hand luggage on his flight back to Sweden a year or so ago). Is a walking stick an accessory, a mobility aid, a recreational device or a weapon?

The grey area exists because some walking sticks are regarded as both canes AND weapons! Apart from the obvious sword canes and Shellieghs, what about the heavier knobsticks or shooting sticks with their spiked tips? Hiking poles have spiked tips and wading sticks are a long stick with a weighted end.

We had a quick search around and the result was this:

Mobility aids such as walking sticks and crutches can be taken on board an aeroplane, but are subject to the screening process.

Walking sticks are x-ray screened along with all other cabin baggage.

Some people with a disability use a hiking pole as a walking stick that they need to be able to walk. Check out this Youtube video of an Australian man who wasn’t allowed to use his stick to get on the plane and had to be taken on in a wheelchair.

A hiking stick could be categorised as a sharp item such as pointed martial arts equipment and therefore banned from hand luggage.

So if you are taking your stick on an aeroplane and need to keep it with you in the cabin then you should be fine with a standard lightweight stick without a sharp pointed tip.

Ash Walking Sticks May Become a Rarity

Yes, you have probably heard the sad and terrible news about Ash Dieback Disease which is unfortunately spreading across the country. The disease causes leaf loss
and dying back of the crown in ash trees. The fungal disease, Chalara Fraxinea has already meant the felling of 100,000 trees in Britain in an attempt to stop it spreading.

Ash dieback has devastated between 60% and 90% of ash trees in some areas of Denmark and as the first reported cases in England have been in the south east
(East Anglia in particular), it is believed that the fungus has been blown over here by the wind. Imports to nurseries are also blamed for the spread from Europe.

The threat is a serious one, not only to the trees but to the animals and plants which live in ash trees. Britain has 80 million ash trees so the need to prevent the spread is paramount.
You can help by using http://ashtag.org/ on your smartphone to report cases of suspected infection in your area.

Infected ash trees are recognisable by lesions on their bark, dieback of leaves at the tree’s crown, and leaves turning brown – though experts say the arrival of autumn makes the latter harder to accurately spot.

You can find more infomation and things to do to help here http://www.guardian.co.uk/

The governmount has also announced a ban on imports starting 29th October.

Loosing trees is always worrying and sad. Dutch Elm disease has caused the loss of some 25 million elms in Britain since the 1960s. The October storm of 1987 uprooted and blew down an estimated 15 million trees, the 6 most famous of which being 6 of the 7 Oak trees of Sevenoaks in Kent.

Unfortunately this disease is going to change the British countryside considerably.

About the British Stickmakers Guild

The British Stickmakers Guild was brought to my attention after chatting to a stickmaker selling his wares at a country fare last weekend. Set up by a small group of people in 1984, the Guild celebrates the very old craft of making and collecting walking sticks and canes. From market sticks with ram’s horn handles to shepherd’s crooks and beautifully hand carved bird’s head sticks, the Guild’s competitions bring out the finest sticks around.

From a humble beginning of just a handful of people, the membership had grown to 500 by the end of the first year and to 2100 by 2004. Membership costs just £12 per year and means you’ll receive “The Stickmaker” magazine four times a year.

The BSG is a national organisation (although it does have many members overseas) and it organises around 40 shows and stickmaking competitions across the UK each year. THE BRITISH & U.K. NATIONAL STICKMAKING CHAMPIONSHIP had shows from April to October in 2012 across the UK.

Some of the busier local groups run social events as well. So if you fancy chatting about walking sticks over a pint or two then why not see if there is a British Stickmakers Guild group in your area?

For more information go to www.thebsg.org.uk

Take a look at the Gallery to see some of the wonderful creations made by the stickmakers. Wildlife seems to feature a great deal on British handmade walking sticks, celebrating our bird life in particular.

The British Stickmakers Guild  “An organisation for stickmakers and collectors. Organised by stickmakers and collectors.” Founded in 1984.
Patron: Her Grace The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire
President: Lord Aylesford
Vice President: Lord Carnavon
Vice President: Duke of Devonshire

Reasons to Choose Walking Sticks Online

There are a lot of websites out there selling walking sticks, canes, crutches and mobility aids so how do you choose who to buy from? We find the majority of our customers are repeat customers and those that have received recommendations about us. This is obviously brilliant news and something that we are proud of.

We try our best to make the customer experience is good as possible, from the ease of using the website to  a question by email answered quickly. We are a small, family run company and we are normal people! We care if can’t decided which stick to buy for a present and we care that you need a walking stick delivered for tomorrow morning.

Mistakes do happen occasionally, they always will, regrettably, as the famous adage (Murphy’s Law) states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. The difference is, we do care when this happens and we will always try to fix things straight away.  For example, you won’t have to wait six months for a refund for an exchanged walking stick. Returns and exchanges are processed straight away so you don’t need to worry. Actually this is easy for us as we do not get very many, which is good.

Here is a recent letter sent in from a customer who received a broken walking stick, damaged in transit:

“Further to telephone conversation of Monday 8th regarding delivery of damaged Morocco Derby Walking Cane, I enclose a photograph of this item as requested. Today I received a replacement Morocco Derby Cane. I would like to thank you for providing a swift and positive response to resolving this matter.

I shall certainly recommend your company to family and friends without reservations regarding the excellent products and service you provide.

Alan”

We have been working with one of our suppliers for eight years now so we have a good relationship with them. Emily’s dad makes some of  the handmade walking sticks, and a local artist makes some as well.  The hand carved commission walking sticks are made by a very skilled artist in Derbyshire.  Our other suppliers are also lovely people who we have met and talked with and we are very happy to work with them.

So, our suppliers are trustworthy and good people, we are  conscientious workers, we are easy to contact and will answer your questions by telephone or email and we like to keep the website up to date and add new products as we come across them.

We have a good Google presence and we advertise so you should always be able to find Walking Sticks Online on the web. We have recently translated the site into french and german and you will find all of our walking sticks available to buy on Amazon. You can find out about special offers and other news on our Facebook page and you can request a catalogue to be sent to your house if you would like to leaf through a paper version or show  your friends.

We also listen to our customers and like to hear about new ideas, so if you have any suggestions then please do email us