Some hikers, trekkers and hill-walkers prefer to use a longer stick -(usually called a staff) – than the traditional walking stick/cane. Although I generally concentrate on making normal length sticks, I occasionally come across shanks which are long enough to be finished as staffs.
This one is an outstanding Gorse hiking staff. It is difficult enough to find a piece of Gorse long enough to make a conventional walking stick but to find a shank of this length is very rare.
Gorse grows profusely especially on acid sandy soil and often becomes quite invasive on neglected land. Its foliage, which is extremely prickly, produces vivid yellow flowers during Spring, Summer and Autumn. It generally grows in a twisted and gnarled fashion and it is almost impossible to find a straight piece of any length more than 24 inches.
In spite of its tendency to produce crooked twisted stems, it surprisingly makes really lovely walking sticks. If you are looking for a perfectly straight walking stick without blemish, then Gorse is not for you. However, if you like a stick that has real ‘character’, do have a look at this wood. What sets it apart as a walking stick is, not only the twists, knots and indentations, but also the hue of the grain of the exposed wood after peeling the bark.