Forest Club is an opportunity to explore and engage with nature in a new and creative way.
We explore many aspects of woodlands crafts, working at a gentle and respectful pace.
You can choose from one of our three courses:
-Willow weaving in the woods: weaving willow in its many sculptural forms from large willow animals to living willow dens.
-Sculptural green wood carving: a playful and informative introduction to carving unseasoned green wood into large scale carvings.
-Spoon carving: nothing beats carving a spoon around a fire, in the woods with a group of fellow whittlers.
The session is led by Stephen Stockbridge, sculptor, maker and Forest School teacher.
Fire making is part of all the Forest Club sessions, as a campfire brings a comforting atmosphere as well as warmth.
Our courses are for adults of all ages and family groups (age restrictions may apply). The day runs from 10am till 3pm.
Check our website for course details.
As we immerse ourselves in nature and ancient crafts, we honour and improve our health and wellbeing. This is a core aspect of all our work, balancing our lives with nature.
If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
All materials and tools are provided.
What we do varies according to the time of year.
A relaxed open attitude is required, along with good waterproof boots and weather appropriate clothing.
Please bring a packed lunch and flask.
Toilet facilities are available on site.
Free on-site parking and good transport links.
I booked the wood carving for my boyfriend and I, as it is something he has always wanted to try.
The experience was great and it was nice to take a day out of London to be surrounded by nature. We all chose a big piece of green wood and had the opportunity to create whatever we wanted using all of the tools available. There were two knowledgable guys walking around to help with anything and they were both very friendly so I didn't mind asking 'stupid' questions.
One thing to be aware of is there isn't much structure to the day, which I think suits people who are a bit more experienced and want to spend hours carving their own project. Because I've never done wood carving before I would have preferred some structured 'how to' sections to the day for people wanting to learn the basics. It's quite pricey so it would be nice to walk away having learnt different techniques.
I was gifted a voucher for the sculptural green wood carving for my 40th birthday, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
As a hobbyist woodworker, I'm normally striving for straightness, squareness and precision. Green wood carving is more abstract yet more forgiving, allowing a more flexible and intuitive approach to creativity. There is great satisfaction in chipping away at the work-piece and seeing the shape slowly emerge and evolve.
The day itself was relaxed and friendly, with a wide variety of people - individuals, couples and families - sharing the experience, with a roaring campfire nearby and a plentiful supply of tea.
We also had the opportunity to help plant a new crop of willows to help improve and develop the site.
I attended one of Stephen's spoon carving courses under a parachute canopy in the woods last Saturday. Having done some spoon carving at home, the session was for me an opportunity to pick up some hints and thoughts while enjoying the experience of working in the open air with like minded people. It certainly ticked those boxes plus will shift my approach to carving in a holistic way. I also enjoyed the added benefit of Stephens insight into other forms of carving to boot which may well lead to other things for me. Excellent!
To start, this was something I had no experience in and had only really wanted to see what it was about and get an idea as to what was involved.
Steven the lovely gentleman who runs it was so welcoming from start to finish. He is so knowledgeable and you can tell this is his passion and he loves to do it.
He explains the processes and how everything works, he shows the techniques and helps you understand how and why we work with the wood the way we do, from everything of what to do, to what not to do.
It's so interesting and gives you a real insight into sculpting wood and the different types of wood you can work with after. It gets down to the bones of a lost art form and its great for any beginners.
Jake who also helps out is on hand to help understand and tackle any tricky bits, he really helped me develop my technique.
All in all I came away with something that resembled a spoon, learnt how to use all the tools and for the price it's a fantastic day out and something out of the ordinary to go and try! Both guys are really interesting to talk to in general and I had a good laugh with them which is always important they are tentative and are soooo helpful too! Go down and see them both!