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When he was eight years old, Ben Short met a char­coal burner on the Hamp­shire downs dur­ing a school trip.

It was an en­counter that

Ben never for­got and, af­ter build­ing a ca­reer in ad­ver­tis­ing, he spent a year learn­ing how to re­store and man­age wood­land cop­pices. It’s a way of life that dates back aeons. ‘The ma­te­ri­als with which I make my liv­ing, mak­ing char­coal,’ he says, ‘couldn’t be more sim­ple – wood, earth, air and fire. I deal in el­e­ments.’

His char­coal kiln is at Eg­gar­don Hill, an Iron Age hill fort on Dorset’s Juras­sic Coast.

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