Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
This course is a whole experience! Topics will cover:
Traditional Greenwood work and tools; Coppice management; Spectacular views and wildlife; Evenings around the camp fire; BBQ and charcoal made on site; History of the Longbow; A free guided walk.
Using locally Coppiced Ash, here you will learn how to craft and manipulate it into a working Longbow, using only traditional tools and devices. The longbow you will make is NOT a flat bow, but conforms to British longbow society rules with a full D section. NOT laminated with imported woods, but a self bow (one piece). "From a tree to a bow" So you will learn how to read the wood.
Starting with an Axe, you will reduce a quarter Ash stave to a manageable size, then, using a Draw knife and shave horse and eventually the Spokeshave until you train the wood to bend and tweaking it until you learn to make the string and then shoot your very Longbow made by your hands.
All set in an Ancient woodland nature reserve in the beautiful South Lakes. Secluded yet only a few minutes walk from shops, cafes and pubs.
What's included in the price?
All tools and materials included and plenty of tea/coffee and biscuits. Free camping on-site and a compost loo. All you need to bring is suitable clothing, camping gear if needed and food for the weekend. You are welcome to bring your own tools if you wish.
Ample parking nearby and a hotel within walking distance. The evenings are usually spent chatting and relaxing around the camp fire.
The next course is at Greystoke cycle cafe , Greystoke, Penrith.
Tony’s knowledge covers not only the craft of bow making but also the history of the longbow through the centuries to the modern day which makes this is a great course to learn about the longbow as well as learning the skills needed to make one by traditional methods. During the weekend he also shares his knowledge about the natural world while relaxing around the campfire drinking unlimited tea and coffee. I can thoroughly recommend camping in the woods to make the most of the experience.
I have just arrived back from a weekend of making a longbow with a group of friends under the excellent guidance of Tony.
This course really was excellent, Tony was awesome at explaining how to use each of the traditional tools to craft a longbow from a lump of wood. He demonstrated each stage perfectly and offered hints and tips on how to get the best results. By the end of the two days we each had a bow that we got to shoot, info on the history of the longbow and a load of great stories.
The camp site was wonderful, an easy enough walk to get to but felt isolated enough to be a great experience and the scenery was fantastic.
If you want to make a longbow this is the course for you. I can't recommend it enough.
An experience to build an authentic longbow using traditional skills and tools, a thoroughly enjoyable and instructive 2 days. Tony is an excellent tutor, providing a balance of instruction, support and advice whilst allowing his students to get hands on right from the outset.
A fantastic opportunity to connect with history and follow the traditional skills of a bowyer whilst using a range of tools and techniques. It's difficult to adequately explain the satisfaction of building a bow with your own hands - expertly supported by Tony and then having the pleasure of seeing an arrow fly from your own bow at the culmination of the two days.
Would throughly recommend this course - great fun and very instructive.
Tony was friendly, approachable and provided a good introduction to the course explaining the process and techniques very well ensuring that we all felt very welcome. All equipment was set up and ready for use, tools sharp and Health and Safety considerations explained.
The course was comprehensive in coverage of longbow history and methods of working with Tony providing very good support and clear guidelines without being over proscriptive to individual learning and progress. He encouraged questions and was always available for assistance.
2 days of enjoyment while learning a traditional craft and skill.
Thanks very much Tony. See you in September.
Always wanted to make a longbow and this course was great. Turning a lump of timber into a longbow was an enjoyable experience, Tony explains step by step the process very well and you also get to learn how to make a bow string. Highly recommend this course, thank you.
Myself and Annie had been up to Brown Robin Nature Reserve the end of last summer to spend time with Tony as he carried out a charcoal burn. We stayed for a few days and were also shown around the reserve as an unexpected freebie. We learnt a huge amount from just one burn and subsequently took home this new found skill and knowledge to apply to our own charcoal production back home.
More recently (May 2015) we spent a weekend both on the 'Greenwood Experience' course, more spceifically to create a shave horse. By doing so we will be able to practice the various greenwood techniques we learnt from Tony and continue to experiment and create our own products. Tony passes on knowledge constantly and has an extremely constructive teaching technique. You can rest assured that you will learn all you set out to on his courses, an more!
The fundamentals of this course included: Introduction to greenwood properties of various trees such as Elm, Willow, Ash and Sycamore, use of shave horse, using a 'froe' and 'cleaving' wood, use of various traditional tools (eg brace & bits, drawknife and spoke shaves), introduction to pole lathe, rounding off wood and roughing out and all of the finer skills.
The beauty of a course with Tony is that as well as engaging in a superb, traditional craft, all the while you are learning exactly where these skills and materials are coming from and the associated management of the woodland. As a result you come away with so much more background knowledge which the course and the craft actually relies upon; the woodland and associated ecosystems. Another tour of the reserve this time took us through anient meadows, identifying birds by call, beautiful butterflies and wildflowers and small mammals. We were then privelaged enough to be shown a special corner of the reserve with soem very special ancient Lime trees. Other tid bits included briefly studying various mosses which adorn the magical limestone pavements.
Cannot thank Tony enough for his time, skill, teachings and company ..... Book a course now!
I was amazed at the tools it you had and liked learning how to use them. I liked all of your arrows. I liked filling up the kettle and keeping watch over the fire too!
It was my favourite birthday present. Thankyou Tony for teaching me how to make a longbow.
From Ez (age 7)
I booked on the course as a present for my son and we both really enjoyed it. It was hands on but also educational with lots to learn!
Really nice location, I enjoyed the woodland walk and hearing all of Tony's local wildlife knowledge.
My son has been practising with his bow and getting loads of compliments!
This is an absolutely excellent course! In two days you learn everything from choosing wood right through to shooting your bow. And it really is 'your bow'. You learn how to use the correct tools on the right way. Tony is an excellent teacher, very knowledgeable and totally approachable.
If you have arrived at this site then you must have an interest already. This course IS for you.
Having just completed a 2-day experience with Tony I can thoroughly recommend it if you are interested in how to make a long bow. The course was quite an active one and you watch your piece of timber transform into a bow (ableit with a fair bit of hard graft).
Friendly and knowledgeable tutor, with all equipment supplied, it's rewarding to be able shoot an arrow with your bow if it all goes to plan.