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Wood Fires

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Woodsman Vincent Thurkettle

Public Speaking

Vincent is an entertaining and charismatic speaker, an adventurer with a wealth of knowledge on the subject of wood fires. His many years working as a Chartered Forester for the Forestry Commission have given him a deep understanding of trees and woodland management; he has spoken at many events and lectured for seven years at the FC’s prestigious Management Training Centre.  

But he offers much more about wood fires than that simply learned by being a forester. Vincent has worked in Britain’s woodlands and forests since boyhood, initially using axes and hand saws to fell trees and horses to drag out the timber.  He started work at 16 as the boy that made the worker’s campfire: in all weathers and seasons. It is also the story of the woodsmen and women he worked with.

His boyhood fire skills were later honed through a growing fascination with prospecting for natural gold. In 2005 he gave up a well-paid office job for the freedom to live the rural idyll lifestyle, and go prospecting. In his search for gold Vincent has travelled to Canada, the USA, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and across Europe.  While visiting miners’ camps to learn about their gold, he also learned their camp fire secrets.

People love wood fires.  After two million years of living with fire we have adapted to it completely – this love of dancing flames, softly glowing embers and the aromatic tang of wood smoke is wired into our very being. Fire is the first wild thing we domesticated. As Zeus said, after the business with Prometheus, ‘Fire is the basis of all human crafts.’  Modern humans are so much the result of our early ancestors living with fire: it changed us physiologically and allowed our nascent social development. We are truly the children of fire, but few people really know fire’s amazing story.

Media experience - Vincent has appeared on many radio and television programmes, and has been featured widely in newspaper and magazine articles – including: BBC 2’s Landscape Mysteries, Countryfile, Country Tracks, Richard & Judy: Radio 4’s Midweek, Open Country and Broadcasting House: Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times, Independent, Guardian and Mail.

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Vincent Thurkettle Vincent Thurkettle