Hello, and welcome to the first Custodians of the woodland webcast. Over the next few months/years, we intend to make different webcasts from our woodland in the heart of Derbyshire. We intend to talk about the different seasons,  and how they influence the woodland and animals and creatures which live there. We intend to talk about holistic therapies which we do at the woodland.

First Webcast of the Custodians of the Woodland

This is my first webcast from the open-air folklore room and I was so nervous that I forgot most of the lines which I had been practicing for months. You could say I got stage fright.

What I wanted to put over is a woodland has so many stories to tell. It’s a case of having a creative license and adding a story to it. Had Finn McCool walked all the way from Ireland to sit on the boulders in Derbyshire? In my stories, Finn McCool did and that’s part and parcel of having a creative license.

Part of a series of photographs introducing the Custodians of the Woodland, Derbyshire

What is Annwn

Annwn, in Welsh Celtic mythology, refers to the ‘Other World’ of the Celts. It is the equivalent of the sidh in Irish tradition, a wonderful place, where bliss reigns, a world of pleasures where youth is eternal, where the disease is absent, and food is plentiful. ‘Annwn, in medieval tales, is presented as the realm of the souls of the dead.

Who was Finn McCool?

Finn MacCool or Finn Mac Cumhal, or Fionn Mac Cumhaill, is famous in Irish myths and legends.

From epic tales of the exploits of famous warriors and saints to fabulous tales of fairies and goblins, Celtic mythology is the foundation of Irish culture. Some of the most famous fables are inspired by the story of the Children of Lir. They were transformed into swans by their stepmother, the great warrior Cú Chulainn. One of the greatest Celtic heroes, Finn McCool, who found wisdom when he was young by tasting the salmon of knowledge and who, as an adult, triumphed over the giants.

The Team

Roly  – Narrator

Andy – Camera

Sian – Assistant

Maina – extra

Richard – Behind the scenes


The Music is by Henry Fosbrooke and the Woodland Roots.

I’m sure you can agree ‘Mighty Tree’ is one great track

Mighty Tree by Henry Fosbrooke and the Woodland Roots

To find out more about Henry and the band visit


Part of a series of photographs introducing the Custodians of the Woodland, Derbyshire

Transcript of the webcast

Hello, I’m Roland Keates.

I’m one of the Custodians of the Woodland.

Welcome to the Custodians of the Woodland videoblog

These video blogs will introduce you to our woodland in the heart of Derbyshire.

We have a birds-eye view of the valleys

Stream flowing beside us

Trees reaching for the heavens

Roots deeper than  Annwn

Boulders Finn McCool once sat on

And never forgetting the little folk who reside here peacefully

I aim to fill these video blogs with stories, poems, and songs of the trees.

With special guests of Oak, Birch, Ash, and many other broadleafs and native species that live in this wonderful natural beauty.

So hold on to your seat, and make yourself a cuppa, visit us in these strange times immerse yourself in the magic of the woodland


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