We had a wonderful time learning how to make ash longbows from Tony at Ynot Coppice. It was great, over the two days, to be able to make a working bow from a piece of wood, using traditional tools, learning about the history of the longbow and all about the surrounding woodland from Tony. Tony is an excellent instructor, especially in teaching us how to do the vast majority by ourselves and guiding us both through the process of using the tools and understanding the theory of how to make the bows. It was incredibly satisfying shooting them at the end of the two days. It was a physical course but felt very rewarding. As an added benefit, we camped on site and were lucky enough to have it to ourselves, an added bonus given extra precautions in place across the UK (Tony had also thoroughly prepared for this and we felt safe throughout). We’re very much hoping to do another course with Tony soon - thank you very much! Jenny (September 2020)
Response from Ynot coppice:Thank you very much for this and it was lovely to meet you both and hope to see you again, all the best,T
I had a great weekend with Tony making a longbow at Ynot Coppice. It's a great experience camping out in the woodland and using traditional tools to make your longbow. Tony is a very encouraging and knowledgeable teacher and is always on hand to help keep your project on track. He also has an excellent knowledge of the manufacture of bows and their importance as weapons in years gone by. I had no previous woodwork or archery experience but still managed to make a bow I was very happy with and to shoot a few arrows at the end of the course. I'd highly recommend this experience for anyone who enjoys being outdoors and would like to learn a new skill.
A top weekend in a magical location with a top bloke guiding my clumsy hands and busy mind to a point where I actually made a functioning and in my eyes quite beautiful long bow
Tony is a skilled, knowledgable, understanding teacher and guide with a true feel for his craft and with a patient relaxed approach which put all of us at our ease.
He is a genuine woodsman and artisan with a sensitive and deep connection to nature and his environment with an extensive knowledge of the history of the British long bow and its significance to this land.
The weekend was not just about learning new skills though. It was also a great opportunity to slow right down,to be quiet, to listen to the birdsong whist meditatively shaving, rasping and hewing a piece of ash into a working bow.
It was also about spending time in an ancient wild environment amongst interesting fellows of the woods and leaving the cares and troubles of the modern world behind.
Tony makes you feel right at home in the camp and workshop he has created in the woods. A couple of days spent there focused on a good and noble craft under skillfull tutelage with a band of brothers, will cast a subtle spell that cannot but make you look at life with different eyes.
And you get to bring a bow back with you too along with some magical memories.
Cheers Tony and to all the other guys who spent the days in honest graft and nights around the fire shooting arrows into the starlit skies.
Brilliant course and a great weekend taking a rough ash stage and carefully working it down with traditional tools into a beautiful longbow, then making the string (an art in itself) and trying the bow out in a beautiful natural setting.
Tony is a wise and feelingful guy managing this woodland with a wealth of knowledge of nature and traditional wood working. He guides you with his knowledge gently and to your own pace until you are the proud owner of a functional thing of beauty.
I made a long bow! There is something very therapeutic about working with wood. Especially taking a piece of Ash, learning how to use the tools to turn that piece of wood, over the course, into the shape of a long bow that is sized for you.
However, it’s not just the long bow, it’s also crafting your own bow string and firing your first arrow.
A truly rewarding moment.
Though it’s not just making this traditional and ancient weapon. There is also the expertise and experience that Tony shares with you in a gentle unhurried way, which allows you to progress at a rate you are comfortable with.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable course, well taught and with friendly, like minded participants.
Excellent couple of days, good materials, good tools (everything provided) (do take a packed lunch though..... if you can pull yourself away from your bow long enough to eat it!). Guidance, history and help (if you need it) provided throughout. Everyone on the course successfully made a working longbow, many thanks Tony.
This course was excellent. I'm totally hooked on bow making. Tony was an excellent tutor with fantastic knowledge and ability. What I was really impressed with was how he gave excellent guidance but still never touched my bow, the work that I did on it was 100% my own which was very important to me.
I have been shooting my longbow all day today and its just perfect. Thankyou Tony!!!!
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.
An excellent course, from timber log to longbow in two days with lots of anecdotes and helpful tips.
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.