I’M dreading this week. By the time you read this, I shall – I hope – be sorted, but you never know. I have to clear my studio in readiness for the Wylye Valley Art Trail.

I’d like to say that artists and makers up and down the Wylye Valley will be in the same predicament as me, but it’s likely that there aren’t that many of them that are as much of a last-minute merchant as me.

I work in stone, and the last time I cleared my studio was about eighteen months ago, so the quantity of dust and rubble that I have to dig out is vast.

I’m not convinced that when I take it all to the dump I’m going to be believed when I say I’m not a builder.

It’s worth it, though. The Wylye Valley Art Trail is what got me going as an artist, and I will do it until there are no more trails to do.

To take part you don’t have to be professional, established or even convinced that you’re doing the right thing: what you have to be is prepared to put yourself out there and show your work – whatever it is – to anybody who might turn up to see it.

It’s terrifying and exciting in equal measure.

Gauging the reaction of the punters is hugely useful – if people like this but not that, you know what you have to work on, and if the number of plaudits is greater than that of the brickbats, you could be onto a winner.

I see the benefits of the trail as an artist, but there are more than a few benefits for the punter, too.

There are so many different talents on the trail, not just painters, sculptors, potters and the like, but milliners, mosaicists, woodturners, letter carvers and just about everything else in between: really something for everyone.

The canny investor can pick up some bargains from new and as yet undiscovered talents; the fashionista can find some fabulous fabrics; the gardener can discover some ornaments to complement their planting; the new homeowner can buy affordable art for their walls – and not least, of course, going round the trail is a jolly good day out.

So, come Saturday when the Wylye Valley Art Trail starts – and it runs until May 27 – you’ll find me exhausted and grubby from moving tons of rubble, but thrilled to be taking part.