Will turns passion for woodwork into business

Pete Roberts and his son Will Roberts with Will's Tipton St John honey at Otterys Food & Families Fe

Pete Roberts and his son Will Roberts with Will's Tipton St John honey at Otterys Food & Families Festival. Ref sho 23 19TI 1020656. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A young beekeeper is using his passion for the outdoors and woodwork to start up his own business.

Will Roberts, from Tipton St John, proved popular with punters when he and his dad Peter sold some of their products at Ottery Food Festival at the start of June.

The 16-year-old has been working with knives and wood since he was eight, but only recently begun exploring selling the utensils he makes.

The King's School student currently volunteers at the Saxon village at Escot Park to develop his whittling and carving skills.

Will said: "The fair went really well with lots of interesting people coming up to my stall. I have spent the last two months making the products to sell for the food festival and I have been wood turning with my lathe for the last 18 months.

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"I would like to set up a forest school business or joinery and work with wood, once again working at Escot has really helped me with following this.

"The best bits so far is making and preparing the products to sell it is such an enjoyable experience and the challenges were to gauge how much of each product you need to make and what will sell and won't sell.

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"Wood working is my favourite thing to do and doing my first stall at the Food and Families Festival made me want to do more stalls because I have really enjoyed speaking with the public and I have got so much better in my wood working leading up to this."

Will crafts the wood on a lathe and depending on the type of wood will patiently spend up to five hours to carve a bowl and two hours for different pieces of cutlery.

Will and his family have kept a hive for 11 years to help boost the bee population. The teenager can often be seen in the protective wear harvesting honey.

He added: "The process of collecting honey is an enjoyable one and we have to look at them every week between April and October to make sure that they don't want to swarm. It is an amazing experience looking into the hive and seeing around 50,000 bees in the height of summer.

"To those people who would like to sell their own product I would say that you don't know what it will be like until you try it and it is amazing to see the response and the encouragement from people who you will meet when you go out there selling your own products."

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