Course Start Dates
About the Course
Available to book now on my website.
Join us for a peaceful weekend of woodland craft and nature connection in the Malvern Hills. Leave work at lunchtime on Friday or come on Saturday morning and escape to the woods with us for a weekend of making things with simple tools, simple living and feeling how you are connected to the natural world. This course is intended to be relaxing, fun and a chance to learn about green woodworking whilst immersed in nature. There will be opportunities to swing lazily in a hammock and relax without technology and time intruding. If you've attended my evening classes you'll know to expect an informal but informative experience.
Green woodwork involves using freshly felled trees, in this state the wood is really easy to carve. The 14 acre ash woodland where the course is held is owned by friends of mine and the trees we cut down are part of their woodland management plan. We'll be camping in the middle of the woodland in a small clearing. Food for the whole weekend will be cooked by the excellent Harriet who's creations are unexpectedly luxurious in a woodland setting and are all made with vegetables grown in the garden by the wood. From breakfast by the wood stove in the library tent-to dinner by the campfire under the trees in the evening.
What will I learn?
We will make a butter knife, and spoon. I'll show you how to use the axe, knife and saw in combination to shape the wood. This includes different knife grips, how to sharpen the tools, designing pleasing shapes, how to work safely and how to make use of the properties of green wood. Green wood is beautifully soft and easy to carve. Sometimes I'll demonstrate a process start to finish without saying a word. Hearing the swish of the trees overhead while you focus on learning is very powerful. Scattered amongst all the woodwork there will be interludes with my wild friend Ida who will grow your connection with the woodland through exploration and play.
How do I get there?
The woodland is near the village of Welland, to the south of Great Malvern in Worcestershire. It lies at the foot of the Malvern Hills, which is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Trains with no changes depart hourly from London Paddington to Great Malvern and from there the woodland is a ten minute drive by taxi-theres a taxi-rank right outside the station.
If you prefer to drive, there is plenty of parking off the road on the surfaced track at the entrance of the wood, 100m from the campsite.
You'll want to arrive between before 10pm on Friday if you can, or before 9.00am on Saturday and depart after 4pm on Sunday. If its a possibility, I'd recommend finishing work at lunchtime on Friday and making your way out to join us then.
Who is this suitable for?
The course is suitable for beginners and improvers, if you've never done any green woodwork before then this will be a great introduction. If you have done a little bit of carving then this is an opportunity to push your skills further. I'll provide all the tools you need, including a whittling knife that you can take home and keep. There is a maximum of eight people on each course.
What will I need to bring?
You'll need a tent, a sleeping bag and a mat along with some clothes suitable for being outdoors. There's a really nice woodland shower and serene composting loo on site. A simple kit list is provided on booking but nothing unusual is needed. This is a fully catered course so no need to worry about bringing food. You are welcome to bring your guitar or a song.
A nice detailed review we were given last year:
Such a beautiful weekend in the woods! Spoon making seemed to flow organically from the space Tom and Ida held for us all – a space where we could relax into the environment around us, enjoy getting to know each other, chat around lovely home made, locally sourced food (kind and tasty additions for me as a vegan!) and then immerse ourselves in creating a spoon from the tree we helped to fell. Tom is an excellent teacher – clear, empowering, funny and placed a brilliant emphasis on being centred and present as we worked – both for the sake of safety and also connection with the wood and the creation emerging from it. Ida shared her passion for connectedness with nature – helping to keep us aware and grounded – such a gift to have this element which could so easily have been lost amidst the desire to make a thing! 😀 Sleeping under canvass in the woods, showering in Tom’s amazing hand built shower, and chatting round the campfire in the evenings were the icing on the cake. And anongst all that we each managed to produce a cool butter knife and a spoon! SO fun. Thanks SO much for a special weekend, Tom and Ida.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
All materials are included, and all the tools you will need.
A woodcarving knife to take home.
Delicious meals are included and are all made with produce grown next to the woodland and cooked by an expert chef.
Camping - but you'll need to bring a tent, sleeping bag and mat.
One of the best weekends I have had for a while.
Fantastic time in a magical location where we all had the opportunity to socialize with a group of avid wood enthusiasts and of course learn the basic craft of green woodwork.
Tom’s know-how, expertise and teaching skill is beyond par, not to mention Ida’s spiritual and woodland education that together provided an holistic experience.
Food, which included 3 meals a day, far exceeded anyone’s expectations allowing some “glamping” notion to the experience.
Highly recommended for those who wish to get out of the rat race for a few days and gain some skills which can then be used anywhere.
Thank you Tom, Ida and the hospitality team.
David - - #17024
Absolutely amazing weekend, worth putting yourself in a group of strangers and totally immersing yourself in the experience.
The woods was beautiful. The camping spot was away from where we spend out time eating and chopping wood and carving. There was a teepee which was for breakfast and a general chillout area near where we camped.
Tom is very knowledgeable and patient, an all round great teacher and had clearly put a lot of time, effort and energy into making sure we had the best possible experience.
The food was phenomenal and in abundance, kindly prepared and brought to us by Tom's friends who own the woodland. 10/10 and highly recommended.
Jamie - - #16945
A wonderful weekend in the woods, characterized by the generosity of spirit of Tom and his crew. Technical know-how and equipment provision second-to-none, in a beautiful location, delivered in a way that enables you to access the spirit of the woodland crafts...
Andy Clarke - - #16897
This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.
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