Axe racers will rub shoulders with tree climbers and wood turners at England’s biggest forest festival on July 13-14.

The event at Chopwell Woodland Park, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, is expected to draw 5,000 visitors to celebrate a revival in forest skills.

Organised by the Forestry Commission, Friends of Chopwell Wood and the Great North Forest, it will be opened by Forestry Commission chairman, Lord Clark of Windermere.

Highlights include the debut of the South West Axe Team – one of only three such groups in the UK – demonstrating the sport of axe racing, and wood turners, or bodgers, will offer a chance to have a go at the ancient craft, before competing in their own ‘Bodging Olympics’.