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In-person course

Garden willow


About the Course

Willow is an amazing plant. A cut stem can re-root and grow through just being pushed in the ground. It grows incredibly quickly, is tactile, flexible and a joy to work with.

On this course you will develop skills and knowledge that can be used over and over in a multitude of ways. You will be introduced to willow as a beautiful material that is easy and very satisfying to work with. Having crafted your very own structure from willow, you will leave the day being able to apply your new skills to create both artistic and practical projects to use in your own garden or community spaces and schools. Watching your willow ‘sticks’ transform into lush green as spring arrives. Willow is rewarding for children and adults alike.

Not only will you walk away with something functional, creative and beautiful, you will have done your bit for the environment by building a carbon absorbing chair!!

This course will cover:
- Introduction onto weaving techniques
- Information and guidance about where to plant living willow
Construction of your living willow structure;
- Finish off with guidance on future maintenance.

This session will be taught by Alistair Hayhurst of Underwood crafts; founded in 2000 and based in Wirksworth, Derbyshire Alistair sources his materials from sustainably managed woodlands, coppicing and harvesting the materials he uses during the winter months.

Arrive: at 9:15 for a 9:30am prompt start
Depart: 4pm although this is approximate
Directions: Please see map featured on the website
What to bring: warm work clothes, pen and notebook, packed lunch
Let us know: if you have any special needs

Please let us know if you have any specific requirements or needs. Please email for T&C'S. All courses are for 18 years and above.

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 tool use are provided for you on the day.
Refreshments and biscuits throughout the course.
Please bring a packed lunch, notebook and pen. PPE is available where applicable.
Cafe on site doing light lunches Thursday-Sunday.

All green woodworking courses are based outside. Most other courses inside based but bring clothing/footwear/sunscreen etc. suitable to working outdoors in the season you attend.

*Due to Covid-19 we have taken the unfortunate decision to suspend some of our courses. As the situation changes we will suspend / re-introduce courses as applicable.

Anyone currently booked onto a course in March or April which we are re-scheduling will have priority booking on a re-arranged course or be issued with a 12 month voucher.

At present we are still taking bookings for courses later in the year and our June-Dec programme will be online shortly. Any questions related to courses please contact us.

Please note we are currently experiencing technical difficulties with our phone system and cannot accept any incoming calls- for assistance please message us using the 'Contact' link above.


Niki and Rachel at Ecclesall Woods Craft Courses
J G Graves Woodland Discovery Centre
Ecclesall Woods
Abbey Lane, Sheffield
South Yorkshire
S7 2QZ
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Platinum Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Platinum status for receiving 50 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.

Suitable for

  • Corporate days out & team building
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Hen dos
  • Parking provided
  • Public transport
  • Romantic
  • Stag dos
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Wheelchair users

Available as a gift

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One day (9.30-4)

Available dates:


In-person course
- - #28534

Rachel gave us lots of useful information about willow in general, as well as teaching us how to make different structures. Although it was the weekend of Storm Ciara, the course went ahead inside the beautiful Hector’s House, complete with cosy wood burning stove, and we planted and learnt how to weave a decorative willow tree in large pots, as well as making woven plant supports.

Rachel taught us different weaves and techniques, and she and her assistant gave us plenty of help. We found a gap in the rain to go out and learn about planting a hedge. As well as having a very enjoyable day out with like-minded people, I felt I had learnt enough to have the skills and confidence to follow up with my own projects at home.

In-person course
- - #28326

Thoroughly enjoyed the day. Staff were more than helpful and patient and it was good to start to learn a new craft.
It is a practical skill and I have already signed up for a further course.

In-person course
- - #17969

Thoroughly enjoyed the day, excellent tutor and excellent venue for doing the course. Would recommend to anyone wanting to try a course at The Discovery Centre. Would agree with comment above about a handout at the end as there was so much to take in. Would also suggest the instructor has a folder with suggestions/ideas as to what to make as I had no idea what I wanted to make and also the dimensions of possible structures.

In-person course
- - #17968

Lovely day with patient and inspiring tutor. I'm fired up now to do more! Only improvement would have been a handout as my memory not so great!

In-person course
- - #13903

Enjoyable, easy to achieve something meaningful and useful in the day. Challenging without being off-putting. Great tutor, gave good feedback and loads of genuine praise. I would highly recommend the course, the venue and the whole business model. Thanks very much.

In-person course
- - #13835

Great day! I attended this course with my wife, it was really enjoyable day. The venue was great, Alistair the tutor was very knowledgeable, both me and my wife had a great time. I would definitely recommend the day.

In-person course
- - #11764

Fun day.People on.course friendly.Tutor was great.Very patient and helpful.Made us a lovely fire to keep us warm.Venue staff lovely and made us tea.Very inspiring.Ticked all my requirements thankyou.

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